Graziano Graziussi, 43, said he was preparing to pay his bill at Smith and Wollensky when he realized he had left his wallet at the apartment where he had been staying, the New York Post reported Friday.
Graziussi said workers refused to accept his iPhone as collateral to allow him to retrieve the wallet. He said they instead called police.
"I found it completely unreasonable to call the police when I was coming up with possible solutions," he said. "I wasn't going to run away. I was there. I had just forgotten my wallet. "
Graziussi said he was taken into custody when he told police he was unable to have anyone deliver the wallet.
He was released the following morning after promising a judge he would pay the bill.
"I don't think they should have arrested me in the first place," Graziussi said. "I wanted to pay the check."
A manager at Smith and Wollensky said calling police is standard procedure when a customer can't pay their bill.
"If someone doesn't want to pay the bill then yes, I will call the police," the manager said. "That's the best way to handle that type of situation."