OK, I'll admit it: after a 3-week tenure at the Dakota my level of menu-memorization is still woefully inadequate, what with the various side platters, house wines, and surf+turf options available in countless combinations. Truthfully I hardly know the difference between a Ribeye and a New York Strip. But I can't let on to the customers! With a table of four looking up at me trustingly after asking how the Fire-Grilled Rainbow Trout is prepared, the words "I don't know" are an impossibility. Even the age-old cop-out "Let me go check in back!" seems out of the question. There's just too much FAITH in the air! I am waiter, I am the one who has been entrusted with the care of these poor souls...I have promised to take them by their wretched hands and guide them through the dizzying maze of appetizers and entrees and leave them dutifully on the other side, sated and confident in their choice of restaurant. And so, I resort to the best tactic in manual: I bullshit. "Well, sir, one thing I can say with certainty is that our Freshwater Trout is an excellent choice on our menu, and we can also induce that it most likely was a trout that originated and was even raised to adulthood in a home of fresh water."
"OK, but what I asked was how is it prepared."
"A great question. I would be very surprised if our trout wasn't Boldly Seasoned and flamed with gusto over our Fire-Wood Grill. I can also posit fairly confidently that significant parts of the animal were removed in its preparation, including but not limited to the head, tail, and internal organs."
"What about the skin."
"Oh, the skin? Yes, the skin of a fish protects it from harmful microbes and allows it to move in the water with agility."
"No, I mean, is the skin removed in preparation?"
"I can assure you, sir, that our fish is served in such a way as to make our customers very happy."
And so on. All garnished, of course, with a winning smile.