While most parents try to teach their children the magic words "please” and “thank you," Bloomfield’s Daisy Troop 20078 recently got an advanced course in mannerly behavior: proper restaurant etiquette.
On December 31, the Oakview School Girl Scout "Daisies" were treated to a 4-course meal at in order to learn how to dine like polite young ladies.
Troop leaders Jamie Menake and Dene Vitali said restaurant manners and etiquette were not just an important life skill but an essential step towards earning their orange petal, an award for being “responsible for what I say and do.”
"Manners are such an important component to their growth," Vitali said. "We want the girls to grow up to be good citizens."
Bella Napoli Manager Salvatore Siconolfi thought it was such a good idea he invited the girls to dine at the restaurant at a discounted rate. "This is such a beautiful thing," he said. "In today's world [restaurant etiquette] has slowly disappeared. It’s nice to see the tradition of elegance continue."
Accordingly, the young ladies, attired in their fanciest dresses and accessories, feasted on appetizers of mozzarella in carozza, a dinner salad, and a choice of entre: penne vodka, chicken parmigiana or spaghetti and meatballs. Vanilla ice cream was served for dessert.
Prior to attending the orange petal event, the girls, who are in kindergarten and first grade, practiced skills like placing their napkins on their laps and table-setting dos and don’ts. Menake and Vitali decided the relaxed elegance of Bella Napoli, a favorite Bloomfield/Belleville dining establishment owned by the Siconolfi family, was the perfect setting for the girls’ mannerly endeavor.
The Daisy Troop parents could not have been more enthusiastic about their daughters’ visit to the restaurant.
"Getting all dressed up and eating a formal meal just made the experience special," Daisy mom Linda Toro said. "It really gave them the opportunity to practice their manners."
And the food earned rave reviews from the kids.
"I loved the onions and the salad," grinned Kate Menake while Anastasia Pavliv exclaimed, "The food was so good, my belly is all full!"