Boing Boing‘s Rob Beschizza recently came to New York City for a weekend of vintage denim sex-clubbing and sunglasses obsessing, when he and his wife were taking in by a notorious tourist trap in midtown: Nello–perhaps Manhattan’s most duplicitous restaurant run by a false pretender to the endowment of Vlad the Impaler:

Oblivious and dumb, we settled in as a United Nations-worth of red flags popped up one by one. Well-dressed waiters paced ostentatiously near the windows, doing no real work. It just struck me as lazy, but it’s apparently a performance to help Nello cultivate a peculiar celebrity culture.

Not everything on the menu was priced. Specials are hard-sold; ask a price for one, and a server mumbles quickly through the prices of all. We didn’t get suckered by the $275 truffle shavings, fortunately. What got us was the sundries.

We ordered a couple of dishes we thought were $30 or so: expensive enough! But a salad turned out to be another $49. Coffee was $12 per tiny little cup. Refill, sir? No, thank you, I’ll just have water. Water was $15.

From New York, to the gypsy Beschizza clan: New York isn’t really normally like this, promise. Come back any time!