Instinct took over and propelled us through the black door and into the rather swank interiors. Tables were arranged, seats pulled, bottoms seated and menu's thrust in our hands. Eyes roved like snake tongues mulling over the many temptations. The waiter was a stoic gentleman of mature age who spoke with the trained restraint of someone going through routines without making them feel tired.
Orders were relayed, kitchen buzzed into action, surroundings were photographed in sneak attacks.
Lets set the record straight: The oysters were the best I had ever tasted. Fresh, briny, textured, PERFECTLY chilled, a joy to behold and an even bigger joy to grind into insignificance.
As a treat the chef sent out a couple of meatballs to tide us over between courses. They were the least delicious of the dishes, so it was good we didn't pay for them. They were beset by dryness and a distinct lack of flavour.
Both mains; a Spaghetti with pecorino foam, fennel and black garlic and the "risotto style pasta" with seafood and raw prawns were distinct triumphs. Sumptuously cooked, elegantly captured and aching with a deep umami that set your tongue dancing in odd formations. Glances were exchanged across the table in disbelief.
After a dessert that was a slight departure from greatness and a final glass of sparkling water, the waiter was commended and the restaurant exited with the feeling that your money was well spent. A wonderful, wonderful feeling.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored by the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"