Four weeks ago, I reviewed a local restaurant for how well they welcomed a party including two teenaged boys with special needs, well our same foursome ate out again last night, straight from school. We went to an italian restaurant that we had been turned away from in the past as it was too busy, but there were plenty of empty tables this time. Our visit did not start well as, in his enthusiasm to open the door to get in, Joshua’s classmate stumbled over the step and launched himself into the restaurant .Then as I sat Joshua in his chair at the table, he realised how slippery it was and he scooted backwards across the floor into the centre of the restaurant! I retrieved his wheelchair from the car so that he could be strapped in , with the brakes on! So we made quite an entrance and the staff semed slightly wary of this odd group of diners who must have looked like we were going to be troublesome.
But as the evening wore on, they responded well to our boys’ enthusiasm and looked after us very well. They played along with the signed request for a very very very big pizza and delivered one that hung over the sides of the plate. They provided an endless supply of serviettes to clean the messy eater up with as his hands, face, hair and clothes were covered in tomato juice. Joshua loved the enetertainment of his classmate, they amuse each other and he joined in and ate well. The waiting staff were watching us and were attentive but not overly fussy, which is the perfect response in my experience.They were on hand when needed but otherwise they stood well back.
The restaurant was filling up with Friday night diners as we were leaving, so our timing was good as we virtually had the place and staff to oursleves at first. The Maitre D held the doors open to allow me to get the wheelchair out more easily and he told my friend and me that he ‘really liked’ us and that it was the least he could do! I imagine that we all won him round after his initial trepidations about this unusual looking party. He could see that our boys had enjoyed their evening out and their italian food and hopefully that we, as their carers, had enjoyed the meal too, while keeping our unpredictable charges under some kind of control. So this restaurant too wins my seal of approval.