It’s an up-market restaurant. I have described it before. Most of the men wore suits and normally with a tie, in spite of the weather outside being close to 30 degrees; the women wearing evening/cocktail dresses – often black since, in spite of fashion trends, ‘black’ will always be the new ‘black’.
F recognised someone who owned a shop near Jil Sander in Milan. The clientèle being of that calibre – wealthy! The tables are really too close together – and too many and the acoustics are terrible – not enough soft furnishings to quieten the noise from the diners. The place was full – you could say heaving. And, yet …………
The food was divine. As a antipasto, I had three large pieces of octopus sunk into a bowl of purée but coloured with saffron – very hot; the octopus meaty and yet not tough, not chewy. The portion was more than generous. We knew it would be and, so, opted to skip the primo. For secondo I had manzo – entrecôte steak – cooked to perfection and as you cut it, like butter – as you eat it – the texture of properly done liver – so soft and nice. But the sweets – I had pastry tart filled with crema (like custard) and topped with wild strawberries which were so sweet; F had the same base but filled with a kind of thick chocolate cream (but really chocolatey) topped with pistachio – we had half and half of course and the chocolate desert was to die for.
Sure we (or rather, I, since it was my birthday) paid a hefty sum for this meal – not far from €200 – but it was worth it – the food being divine. And we talked. Not about anything in particular but, still, it was talking and laughing and having fun and it was lovely.
As we were there, ‘one’ table of about 6 people finished and the left. The waiters then split the table in two and on one there were three ‘business’ men and the other was a couple.
Well, I say ‘couple’. The man, probably in his 40s but looking older, ugly and very overweight, dressed in a dark grey suit sat opposite a guy who was, probably in his thirties. As a couple they looked very out of place. The younger guy looked so out of place in this restaurant. I mean to say, we were not in suits but rather jeans and shirts – casual but smart. But we were both the same – dressed at the same level. The younger guy in this situation was in jeans and a check shirt and wore a baseball cap (the wrong way round as is the norm for teenagers – and he was no teenager) which he continued to wear whilst he ate. He spent some time on his mobile telephone; he was laid back in his chair like he was being over-casual about everything; when he got to eating he ate in a way that indicated he had never been shown how to use a knife and fork – he just didn’t belong there!
Except, of course, probably, he was there as the ‘guest’ of the fat, ugly guy and later, once he had eaten his expensive meal, there would be something in it for the FUG.
It’s just that you don’t see it so often. Again it makes me grateful for the life I’ve lead and the partner I now have and that I have never had to resort to ‘buying’ my partner, even short-term. Even so, there was something almost paedophilic about it, even if, in reality, it wasn’t since we weren’t talking young kids or, in fact, in spite of the baseball cap, kids of any kind. Still it was, sort of, disgusting.
Of course, maybe I got the wrong idea – but then, that would be both of us and, probably, most of the restaurant.
The restaurant being Ristorante di Giacomo.