"It is Grandmother in Italian", the cute manager told me.
"Really? and what does your name mean?", i said, twirling my hair...
he giggled, humbled by the attention I was giving him and said, "it means allergic to cheeky girls". *laughter all around* "more wine for you ladies?"
A little bird on my shoulder told me about the manager. Years ago, he was doing a kickass job in an established hotel before he was talent-spotted by the restaurant boss, and switched over with a pay raise and alarming speed.
I just love looking at people and trying to guess things about them. There was the manager, who was most charming, and clearly cut out for the job.
There was an Italian chef, (see below for list of scrumptious must-orders)also totally cut out for the job. We stopped him as he was walking by our table and asked him for his name, (pardon 5 tipsy ladies) and unlike most italian stallions who would be quick to tell you their name and their hotel room number, this one was bashful! we tried to hook him up with one of our mates.
And there was a slightly over-enthusiastic waiter - just out in the sun earning his plane ticket to an english premier league match. We asked him for "basil" and he cocked his head to one side, clearly his first time hearing the word, but still trying to maintain a thinking image - we forgive him for that -because the manager swings by and rescues him.
Anywho, back to the main plot. The ambience of this place is lovely... we spent half an hour talking about the theme of the restaurant and how we could add to it. S wanted to add a birdcage, J wanted to add Italian newspapers, Bix wanted to add a bookshelf, and I wanted to add wine to my dessert. We were there from 12 - 3 (way past their closing time and they didn't chase us away. Also because across us was another table of 5 gorgeous women, one of whom we recognise as a famous radio deejay.) The ambience tells us that this place is a hit with the ladies, the location tells us that lunching/dining here is solely limited by the folks who drive. and the food tells us, it's gonna be a hit with the men.
Being the adventurous one, my girlfriend insisted on ordering the Squid Ink PIZZA. It's the first time i've heard of squid ink Pizza. and the manager tells us he thinks they're the first to introduce it too. I LOVE squid ink, except on a first date. with the girls, i say bring it on. and mm mmm mmmmmm.... it friggin delicious! and the other thing (that made us chat with the chef) was the Risotto! try it. you won't regret it. Pork ribs - yum. Lemon tart - divine.
skip the Carbonara, Puttanesca, and Tiramisu.
Go for the rest. (ok, maybe not the poly-student waiter)