It’s been said that we judge and are judged within the 1st 3 seconds of first meeting someone. I’m not sure how this relates to my story but I’ve passed the latest restaurant on our Sea Point Main Rd eating-out- adventure, many times – and I’ve judged it quite dismissively with never before ordering from there. Bad me!
The 4th restaurant we visited for our culinary experience was Goloso – an Italian eatery whose name means, “Greedy for food.” A name that fitted exactly how I felt during this spell of Cape Town winter weather – cold, wet and windy. I was feeling greedily hungry for some Italian and lying to myself that I needed to carbo – load for the upcoming marathon I was never going to run, or the swim I was never going to get to, or for The Cape Epic I might…just watch on TV. But I was into loading anyway.
The first thing we were asked when we entered the restaurant was, “do you have a reservation?”
In one sweeping glance (yip I can do that) I noticed the intimate eatery was about 2/3’s full.
“No, but don’t you know who I am?” I responded.
“Why have you forgotten?” came the quick reply. (None of this really happened but I’ve always wanted to say that and now it’s in print…!)
We were seated at the window near the door with a great view of the Main Rd as well as the whole of the boutique restaurant. It was busy.
The thing that struck me was that this place didn’t have an Italian “feel” to it. There were no audible Italian accents
or shouting, there was no organised chaos – everything seemed to be in order. Besides the red pillars, the pictures of Vespa Scooters on the wall, and the gentle aromas of garlic, tomato and herbs dancing through the air portraying it had something to do with being Italian – this place could have been any type of family eatery in any European city.
We started with 2 bottles of water– yip this was going to be a big night.
While we perused (yes we can do that too) the ample menu, containing classical Italian fare Helene, my partner in crime mentioned that she always ordered the same food when eating out at Italian. As she is a vegetarian and loves cooked tomato – which is luckily a vegetable, or a fruit actually if you really want to be pedantic, she only always ordered a Penne Arrabbiata – with lots of tomatoes or a Margherita Pizza. She never felt like being adventurous when it came to Italian. Luckily I’m South African.
Part of our rules about our eating out adventures is that we get to try each other’s food, and I wasn’t up for either of those choices.
“How about you step over the edge of uncertainty and try something new this time. If it turns out well I’ll be able to sit here and marvel as you take flight in this wonderful experience and cheer, clap and whistle in admiration as you soar high above the rain and clouds into the night sky, towards the stars beyond. If it turns out shit, I’ll catch you, console you, drink some wine, and order a doggie-box?” A win-win of course.
Helene took a deep breath, sat up straighter, puffed out her chest and confidently ordered the Lugano Pizza containing pickled artichokes, kalamata olives, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and Avo.
I felt so proud watching this little Sparrow, wobble a bit (Helene is recovering from a knee op) adjust herself, and then gently step –while slightly pushed, over the edge… God, I hope she can fly. I ordered a glass of wine just in case.
Her daring pizza arrived with my Prosciutto e Funghi and after one bite I was transported back to the old country, sitting in a sweat tainted vest, on the verandah of some ageing farmhouse, at the end of a never-ending, dusty driveway, surrounded by shotgun cradling men I never knew, speaking a language I couldn’t understand – while a violin wailed out a pre-funeral tune. It was that good.
“Ke?” I replied when my flighted bird mentioned something between bites.
“I’m pleasantly surprised” was all she was able to muster up between delicate nibbles while eyeing the rest of her chosen dish. I felt so proud while shovelling another slice of her new found favourite pizza, and only slightly disappointed that there would be no doggie-bag.
The 2 bottles of water and glass of wine had really made us light-headed and with our inhibitions at an all-time low,
we knew we just had to have dessert. Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, or both – with all-consuming guilt, was a minor dilemma we briefly experienced until our very attentive waitress mentioned that the night’s special was both desserts for the price of one. My god, this restaurant is a find I thought, where’s a Vuvuzela when you need one?
There’s not much to say about the sweet delicacies except that there was nothing left when we left, to the left…out the door.
This place is a find…