Walking down a narrow street in Rome with stomachs rumbling, we were enticed into a small “mom and pop” restaurant by a rotund, genial man. He assured us he and his wife offered the finest dining in Rome.
Why not, we thought. The aromas emanating from the tiny place had our mouths watering. We sucked in those rumbling stomachs to squeeze around one of the four tables.
Expecting menus, we were startled when Poppa said, “What you like to eat?”
“Never mind. I make-a for you a good meal.” This statement was followed by rapid-fire Italian addressed to Momma in the kitchen and more rapid-fire Italian addressed to the lone waiter who promptly served drinks.
Pasta, antipasto, veal, tiramisu—I don’t remember what else—passed from the plates to our mouths, every bite to be savoured and exclaimed over.
“Oh my, I don’t think I can eat another bite. Oooh, that looks good. I’ll have some.”
Poppa came over to see if we were happy. We were.
“Why the picture of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor?” we asked, guesturing to two photos on the wall across from our table.
“They come-a Roma, make-a movie. They eat here.”
Whoa, had we picked the right restaurant, or what?
“Tell us about them,” we begged.
Poppa waved a hand dismissively. “Every night for a week, spaghetti and two bottles,” he held up two fingers, “Absolut.” His voice dripping with disdain, he said, “Every night for a week, spaghetti and two bottles Absolut.” He slapped our bill on the table, shook his head and stomped off.