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Night Spies 

We are at the bar at the Peninsula Hotel.

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I'm here tonight with my girlfriend Bernardine. We like to come here after a nice meal. One of the most delicious meals we've had was at Charlie Trotter's. Bernardine is from Sydney, Australia, and she's been to Tetsuya's, a restaurant there that is owned by apparently Charlie Trotter's best friend. When Bernardine called Trotter's she mentioned that she'd been to Tetsuya's and the reservation was made for two or three evenings later, which is rare--it usually takes a while to get a table. We asked another couple to join us, and when we arrived the hostess said "Charlie Trotter would like to cook for you" as she seated us. That's quite an honor. He made us an Asian-Japanese fusion--it was a highly sophisticated meal and superbly presented. We had probably six different extraordinary courses. The bill for four wasn't that expensive--about $700 (including tip). We didn't choose a very expensive wine. At the conclusion of the meal the hostess asked Bernardine, "How do you know Charlie?" and she replied, "I don't know him." The hostess didn't blink an eye and invited us to see the kitchen. We realized that we got the reservation so quickly and got the special treatment because they thought we were friends of Tetsuya.

--Alejandro Videla, MBA student

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