Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rome, day two, dinner

So, after a long day of sightseeing and walking, we figured a good dinner was definitely deserved. We decided to go somewhere that was:
a) Close to the hotel, because we had been walking all day
b) A restaurant, rather than something fast
c) Somewhere small

After consulting Tripadvisor, we found a place that fit the bill and was well rated.

We sat down, at about 7:30 or so. Early by European standards, but heck, we were starving. In the place, there were maybe 20 tables in total. When we arrived there was only one other group in there, seemed as if they had gotten there just a few minutes before us.

After, and immediately were greeted by a (seemingly) very nice Italian waiter. No English, just Italian. We sit.

Il vino?! Sì! Rosso o bianco?
This is where the girl and I look at each other, knowing that he asked if we wanted white or red wine.

Ok ok
Both of us thought this was very interesting. He was pretty excited.

After he disappears for a minute or two, he's back with a jug of wine. Awesome.
We look at each other.
This, is when we expected him to hurry off into the kitchen and bring us a menu. So we chatted and noticed that the group sitting behind us had just gotten their Antipasto. Looked pretty good, they were all sharing. Couldn't quite tell what everything exactly was, but it looked good. Their faces showed it.

Two minutes later it showed up. Antipasto. Prosciutto. Salami. Cheese. Some baked pastry with spinach inside. Fried cheese. Fried olives.

No, he didn't bring us a menu with all of those things, he brought us about five dinner plates with all of those things. It was a lot of food. BUT, it was delicious.

We were eating along, and thought that maybe we should leave some room for dinner? I mean, if we finished all of what was in front of us, we wouldn't be able to eat anything else.


So, we did what any reasonable folks would do. We stopped eating, and left some on the plates.

Only, our friendly little Italian waiter-friend wasn't having that.

He came over to our table.
Everything buono?

Oh yes, everything is great!

It was, the Girl nodded in agreement.
Is good? Then why you no eat it all?
Well, we didn't have a chance to reply. Instead he picked up a fork from one of our plates, and started to move the leftover food from the serving plates to our eating plates.

Then he picked up the serving plates, and left.


We, really had no say in the matter. So, for fear of our lives, we finished eating.

He came back and cleared the plates once we were done. And, we were done in more than one way. The both of us were full.

It's ok, we can make room for dinner.

He came back, and gave us some new silverware. Everything was kinda hurried. Not, like he was trying to get us in there, but because he had other customers and he was the only waiter.

Ok, now a menu. Hmmm... I wonder what I want for dinner.

Then, we see the group behind us get their food. Just like any normal folks, we peer on over to see what they have. Looks delicious. Maybe we'll just ask him for some of what they're having.


Wait, here he comes. With food. For another table?

Nope, for us.

Bowl of rigatoni carbonara. Cooked al dente, the color of egg yolk, parmesan cheese, fried strips of guanciale.


Wait, it's also the same thing the other table is having. Interesting.

Mmmmm... sooo full... yet... sooo delicious.

Meanwhile, a family arrives and sits in front of us.

We ask for another jug of wine. You're going to need something to wash all this food down with, ya know?

It comes on over, and were just about done with food.
Wow, that was pretty good!

I'm going to sleep goooood tonight!
I mean, really. Good food. We were happy.

He clears the plates of the folks behind us. Then he comes back and clears our plates. Time for sleep!

This is when a different guy comes out and pays a visit. Looks to be, the chef. He's wearing the hat, the apron, the whole deal.

He comes over and rests his hands on the table.
Tutto è buono?

Yes! Everything was really good!

He then goes on for about 30 seconds in Italian, and leaves.

Both the Girl and I look at each other, slightly puzzled. But, we're ok with it.

Next thing we know, the chef is on his way back. But, not to our table. He goes and sits with another group in the restaurant and is chatting it up. He must know them.

Out comes the waiter, with plates for the folks sitting behind us.
Wow, that looks pretty good!

I don't think I could do it.

Too. Full.
Two minutes later.

Bowl of rigatoni with a spicy red sauce, no meat.

I have to eat it. We have to eat each of our bowls. It looks delicious.


Must eat.

About to burst.

Finally, we finish. I look at the Girl.
I don't even want dessert. I can't eat anymore.

Me neither!

Alright, good.
The waiter clears the folks' behind us' plates. Then he clears ours 2 minutes later.


He talks to them, can't tell what they are saying. Goes away.

Then, he comes to our table and looks at the Girl.
Meat or fish?
She, a puzzled look.

Me, an even more puzzled look.


I was glad that I didn't have to tell him that we didn't want more. That, we were just too full. It's almost like I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Because, well, it was all awesome.

Alas, he was looking right at the Girl so I was off the hook. She would have to tell him.
She looks at me, with an 'I give up' look.

WHAT the heck! You were supposed to tell him NO MORE!!

Crap. Now he's looking at me.
I gave in.

Pork tenderloin on a bed of rosemary potatoes

Whole fried fish on a bed of potatoes.

I think the Girl unbuttoned her pants at this point.

We had to discuss. We needed a PLAN.

He took the other groups' plates away. Immediately followed by ours.

Alright, if he comes over and asks us if we want dessert, we HAVE to say no. Ok?

Yes. Got it.

None of this feeling bad stuff. YOU CAN'T GIVE IN.

Ok! I won't!

You did last time with the 'fish' comment.

I felt so bad though!

It doesn't matter. He's going to ask us if we want dessert. I will tell him that I will have coffee. ONLY COFFEE.


We see him.

We're ready. Have a plan.

Here he comes.
Il dessert?

Noo.. that's ok. But I will have some coffee.
I say

No dessert? Why no dessert? It's good!

This is where the Girl gives me a look. The type of look that says, 'You see that puppy? We need to save it.'

Ok.... ONE dessert.
I give him a pointy index finger. No mistakes.
We share.
I point to the Girl, then to myself.

He scurries off.
Why did you give me that look?! WE. HAD. A. PLAN!

I felt so bad!

I am going to burst.

It's ok, we're just going to share.
Meanwhile, the group behind us gets gets some dessert. Lots of it.

Thats ok though, we just got one.

What we thought, until he came back with our ONE dessert.

Panna cotta with berry sauce on top, espresso ice drink with thick whipped cream on top, a plate of thin pastries with hazelnuts and dried fruit. There's another plate not even in the picture.


I bet he's going to make us eat it all also.

Looking around, we notice the chef is out and about again. Chatting it up with his friends/customers. I wonder if he's the root of all of this.


We finish.

It has to be the end.

No more, not even coffee.

He clears our plates.

At this point in time, we don't even hope that he won't bring more. All we do is wonder what we're going to do.

He comes back, with a glass of white port for each of us.

This has to be the end. We ask for the check.

He comes back, with a piece of paper. Looks like it was torn out of a notebook. Two digits written on it in pencil.

Is this the check?

It must be.

So, I did what any normal person would have done. Busted out the credit card and handed it to him, with the note paper.

He came back with a more formal check and my card.

We had never felt so free full in our lives.


Dallas Diaries said...

Good god, this just made me hungry.

TC said...


So... how much did that 17-course meal cost???

The Ambiguous Blob said...

That sounded like a night at my Italian family's house. They really do yell at me: Eat! Eat! and I yell back- DOES it LOOK LIKE I DON'T EAT!
And they get louder than I ever possibly could because they have the genetic advantage. I have zero Italian heritage.
And I EAT. And then I am forced to stay at their house for many hours after eating, simply because I cannot move.
And they have a chance to lecture me about my love life.
It's a vicious cycle.

Len said...

Hahaha. Welcome to Italy. I'm glad I only lived there for 2 months because this was TORTURE. Heavenly torture. ;)

Gretta James said...

Italy eats - this surprises you why?

You gotta love it tho - my mouth is watering.. I really could do with a posh evening out.
Gretta x

Scotty said...

Dallas - We started out that way.

TC - Hmmm... about $100 US.

Tabbie - I would have to agree on that cycle. Vicious.

Len - PERFECT way to describe it.

Gretta - I was just surprised at HOW MUCH. :)

TC said...

For all that?!!? Not bad at all.