BLOG - What better way celebrating a wedding anniversary than at a level three Italian restaurant’s re-opening? Just eating out after months locked up is enough cause for celebration - and an unforgettable and unusual event dished up.
Unusual? Probably more like macabre.
On entering we espy a scene from a Spielberg horror movie. Masked characters at naked tables (tablecloths infra dig – can’t be sanitised), their slitted eyes following our every move as we’re being led by Super Lady. We are handed menus designed like comic books in keeping with the surroundings. And no champagne to toast our special occasion.
Once settled, and without something to drink or fiddle with, having left our cellphones in the car, we steal a peek at our fellow spooks. My Heidi normally studies the fashions of lady diners, whereas I gawk at what others have on their plates and whether they’re able to slurp their pastas Italian style.
This time we find ourselves matching masks with bodies underneath. Many depict animals. Like Bulldog, but no match with the body of an emaciated Greyhound in desperate need of plates overflowing with cannelloni. Heidi points at Kitty with the body of a Sumo wrestler. She’ll probably tear into two helpings of the rib-eye steak and chips. Then there’s Sean Connory with a beer boep that would in no way attract the bikini girls. And as expected, Batman, with horned mask and all. But without the cape and wearing shorts and slops, the crooks would take the mickey.
One clever mask. A zip for a mouth. When it comes to eating, you needn’t take it off. Worth investing in one.
Our little game is interrupted when owner Massimo approaches our table. Instead of bemoaning the lot of restauranteurs, he refers only to the ban on kissing, hugging and pinching, “three vital characteristics in Italian men”.
“How can we be passionate without snogging, squeezing and nipping? Now we’ve been reduced to the average man needing a wheelbarrow full of kindling to start a fire. No more the lover-boy image. Che disastro!”
With that he storms off to the kitchen from whence a little later the sound of an Italian aria – or is it Massimo sounding off at the chef about forgetting to order enough rib-eye steak? (Sumo probably grazed it all). At least there’s still enough Italian in him, says Heidi.
When leaving the eatery we wonder what awaits our next anniversary. A clean parliament, Spielberg spooks at rest – and Italian men back with the girls? Can’t wait.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'