Hamptons Police Department officers were called to mediate in a dispute at a Hamptons restaurant over the weekend after a customer refused to pay for his table’s dessert course. The restaurant’s management in turn refused to allow the customer to leave without paying his full check, and the situation threatened to become violent.
According to police, inquiries at the scene revealed that, after their meal, the party of four had ordered coffee and cake for the table, but had apparently declined to look at the actual dessert menu. Their waiter testified that he had offered to show the dessert menu to the customers, but they were preoccupied by conversation and simply requested whatever coffee and cake the restaurant had.
“That was a mistake,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said.
This particular restaurant, it turns out, specializes in obscure pastries and coffees, often priced well beyond what even wealthy patrons are prepared to pay.
“It’s all spelled out on the menu. Turns out, they had ordered four cups of civet coffee, at $120 a pop!”
Civet coffee, or Kopi Luwak, is an Indonesian delicacy produced by feeding raw coffee beans to palm civets and then retrieving the beans from the animals’ feces. This produces what some consider a smoother coffee, but in this case the restaurant is definitely more interested in the novelty factor—Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world.
The cake the party consumed proved even more expensive, however—it actually had a historic provenance.
“Without realizing it, these guys ate up four pieces of cake left over from Charles and Diana’s wedding,” Hirsch said. “You wouldn’t believe what the place was charging for it!”
The leftover wedding cake had been purchased at auction for $1,500 per slice, and the restaurant was offering it for $3,000 per slice, reflecting their usual markup.
In the end, the police convinced the restaurant to reduce the table’s check from $13,235 to an even $10,000, and the dispute was resolved.