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Allen & Delancey Gets New Years Eve Fire Dept. Visit

Just over a week ago, we posted a reader complaint about Allen & Delancey, spurring a long thread about the decline of the one time darling of the LES culinary scene. Today we receive yet another report from a reader, but this time the setting is a New Years Eve dinner and there is a special cameo from the FDNY. Somehow, there's a happier ending this time:

"The table we were at was a bit cramped (we requested a booth but it looked like those tables were for bigger groups,) but the room was beautiful with candles, streamers and ribbon. We had just finished enjoying our cocktails and our appetizers were on their way when an alarm started ringing. Everyone looked around but the staff continued smiling and working so we assumed everything was fine. About 5 minutes later the waiters and manager started escorting us all outside. There were 3 fire trucks and a bunch of firemen entering through the back door with axes in hand, (including several really hot firemen might I add!)
All the cooks, waiters and guests stood outside while the manager ran back in to get all the coats for the customers. One bartender kept pouring wine and passing out beer while we waited. Another diner got down on one knee and proposed which got everyone on the street cheering. About 15 minutes later the firemen said it was all cleared up and safe to go back in. I asked what had happened and the fireman said it looked like cigarette from the street may have slipped down through the basement hatch and some cardboard boxes caught fire. Total freak accident but scary non the less.

We went back in, they popped some bubbly for everyone, and things went right back to normal as if nothing happened. Our cold food was cleared from the table and fresh ones brought out to replace them. The food took a bit longer then I would usually like to wait but that is understandable considering the circumstances and they kept us happy with oysters while we waited..."

· FW: Highly Unusual Experience at Allen & Delancey [~E~]