This is lovely,’ she exclaimed, as we were shown to our table.
‘The best Italian place around. I have been coming here for years. But the couple who run it are getting on and both have health problems.’ I glanced around. ‘Neither seem to be here tonight. In fact I don’t see any familiar faces.’
She leaned close to me and whispered, ‘I don’t think our waiter has any English at all.’
This soon proved to be the case as he came to take our orders. After much confusion, we simply pointed at what we wanted. We both went for steak, medium rare, with a pepper cream sauce.
‘Is it usually so slow?’ she asked, after we had been waiting for forty minutes.
‘No, not at all. Oh, here he comes. This must be our food, there’s nobody else here.’
Two plates were set in front of us, steak but no sign of sauce.
‘Could we have the pepper sauce?’ I asked.
He nodded and went away, returning with a large pepper mill.
‘No,’ I said. ‘Pepper sauce, not pepper.’ He offered me the over-sized mill with a smile.
‘It’s not going to happen,’ my dining partner sighed. ‘Let’s just eat it dry.’