A post fair collapse of a supper last night with friends and colleagues at Casale Franco
A quitessentially old school "trat" hidden away up an alleyway off Upper St, its single benefit appears to be that it is within staggering distance of the office. It certainly is not the food which is passable at best .
However, my chum and colleague, Zaro really rather likes it and it does, from time to time, serve as a venue for a "family" supper
Arriving early with my friend Michael, the officious podgy little tool at front of house tried to shoehorn us into a small table in a room of people slowly getting drunk before heading off to see The Arse play Real Madrid.
We finally managed to persuade him that we had no intention of sitting there and were begrudgingly shown a table in the narrow room near the pass. I was knackered after the fair and had every reason to be cranky. I think this guy does it because he is just a knob.
Fortunately, the rest of the staff are a great deal more friendly and a couple of glasses of Prosecco later, I was feeling a great deal more affable.
By the time Zaro and Gareth arrived, we had decided to order another bottle and were pretty much "in our cups" and munching on decent olives and some perfectly OK cold roasted vegetables.
While we perused the menu, they comped us a bowl of garlic pizza which everyone devoured pretty quickly except me as CARBS = DEATH as we all readily acknowledge.
To begin, I had grilled squid which, while not dreadful was rubbery ( there is a joke in there somewhere ) and the CHEW/TASTE ratio was completely out of whack. Not worth the effort. While zaro and Michael did their usual green salad schtick, Gareth ordered a rather lumpen looking tart. Didn't try it. Didn't want to.
By the time we came to our main courses, Stacey, who heads up our US office had arrived just in time for the Sea Bass we had ordered to be plonked in front of her. I had ordered braised Wild Boar with grilled polenta. I was hungry enough to polish it off, but was it any good? Not really. A cloying sauce,stringy meat and bland polenta ( bland being the nature of polenta, I guess ) It is amazing what you can bring yourself to eat when you are
c) both of the above
The redeeming feature of CF is that is has a well priced and interesting wine list. This time, along side the very passable Prosecco, we polished off ( well, Micheal, Gareth and myself did ) two bottles of Lacrima Di Mora D'alba which was warm, rich and a nice couterpoint to the cold and rain outside. Very good and £20 a bottle
Because of the above ( wine that is ) I have no recollection of the desserts although I suspect they would not have been that memorable anyway.
A mint tea and a comped Limocello later, I was on my way home and literally counting the moments until I return to this fine establishment. Ahem