A friend once commented on one of my Facebook statuses that “your life is like a real life version of Friends.” (thanks Josie!)
This is because there seems to be this trail of hilarious accidents that lay in my wake. And they are mostly hilarious, well, because if you don’t laugh, you’d cry.
Friday night was one of those times.
One of my best friends, the gorgeous Natalie, is moving to Melbourne to be with her partner. So, the girls and I were off to Barolo on Beaufort in Mount Lawley to say goodbye. With pasta.
Nicole, my bff, was picking me up. Between the two of us, we couldn’t find somewhere to park. It’s important to note here, that Nicole drives a VW Golf. It’s adorable, much-loved, and we call him George. He’s never failed us, no matter what we’ve thrown at him. Good George.
So when the only conclusion we could come to, to solve our parking dilemma, was to hop a curb, cross a footpath and park on a sandy patch, along side a 4wd and a couple of utes, we had complete faith in his abilities. We might have grossly misjudged the situation.
And by ‘might’, I mean ‘completely and utterly’.
Turns out, that sandy patch was not level with the footpath. I blame the grassy weeds. That’s called entrapment, you sneaky bastards!
What did happen, was we managed to get poor George perfectly balanced across the chassis on the edge of the footpath, so that none of the wheels touched ground. We were well and truly stuck.
Much panicking, some high-pitched whining, and one desperate phone call later, our friend Jan arrived on the scene. While Nicole and Jan debated the best way to tackle moving the car, I was banished to further up the footpath, as apparently, the giggle fits I experience when nervous, were not helping the situation. Nor was the photo taking. Worst. Friend. Ever.
I was about to give in and start Googling for a place we could hire a crane at 8:30 on a Friday night, when up pulls a car. Out of said car, piles four strapping lads, who were ready for a night out. No, seriously. I’m not making this up. They say truth is stranger than fiction.
“Nicole! Are you seeing this? It’s better than Christmas!” I hissed. Apparently, she was too distressed to hit on boys. I didn’t know that was possible, but severe psychological trauma does odd things to us all.
So after some round table discussion with Jan (and Nicole pleading that she’s normally a better driver than this – she is, really), our now five Supermen managed to lift/drive/scrape the car off the footpath, and to safety.
Oh right, dinner. So, once we made it (albeit 35 minutes late) to Barolo, the other girls were waiting. Our waitress, an utterly delightful American, was unfaltering in her politeness, despite our lateness.
The other girls had plenty of time to work out what they wanted, and Nicole and I had been emailing during the day about our individual cravings (we started talking about dinner the morning before. What of it?), so we ordered in record time.
While the humming kitchen got to work, we handed over leaving gifts to Natalie, recounted the car story, caught up on all things gossip and generally had girly chit chat. Our fabulous waitress appeared frequently to top up wine glasses and make a charming fuss. Before long, dinner was served.
Two fish specials, tagliatelle bolognese, pollo alla locatell, and a gnocchi sorrentina later, and silence fell across the table for the first time (Can’t talk. Eating.) Who said girls don’t eat???
I love gnocchi. I really really love home-made gnocchi. And you can always tell, the pillow softness of home-made gnocchi has no parallel. Lucky me, Barolo most certainly make their own.
Dressed simply in a cherry tomato and bocconcini sauce, it proves Barolo’s ideology that good produce speaks for itself with uncomplicated, traditional recipes, the hallmark of Italian cookery.
With embarrassing speed, I inhaled that gnocchi. It was simply, good. Not as in good-but-not-great, but GOOD. Kind of warmed the soul, good. Once I finished, I listened to the girls murmuring appreciation for their own dishes.
Empty dishes were quickly (but not too quickly) whisked away, and dessert menus laced in front of us.
Barolo are famous for their tiramisu, which was being split between a couple of the girls, and I couldn’t drag my eyes from the chocolate torte on the table next to me, served with pure cream. Yeah, that was happening.
As we waited for dessert, the conversation got a little animated. Gloria, normally the controlled one of us, smashed a red wine glass into her own lap. *sigh* Not drunk, we promise.
Again, the wait staff were unfaltering. The mess was cleaned up in the blink of an eye, a glass of soda water and napkins were quickly produced to blot out the stains in her dress (handy tip, for those playing at home), and not a single eye was rolled. Brilliant.
Dessert quickly followed. My chocolate torte was a thing of great beauty.
Then followed the tiramisu. Except… There was a candle in it.
Our waitress, seeing us handing over presents, had assumed it was Natalie’s birthday, and with no prompting from us, proceeded to find a candle for her dessert, and wished her a happy birthday. We ran with it. We sang happy birthday.
THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is service.
The food is good. The service is brilliant. And you really can’t take us anywhere.