The Italian Job

A busy afternoon in St Francis Bay saw us head to the new Italian Job Restaurant for a few quest drinks and some time to chill. A few seats were around in the early evening, and the proprietors welcomed us with open arms.

They quickly recognised us as locals and showed us around their multi-roomed restaurant before choosing the front area inside. Right next to the live music, but sheltered from the weather. It was a chilly late afternoon, as most of the summer has been, and we were all under-dressed, so it suited us perfectly.

I needed a drink after hearing some tragic C-19 related news, and my Scotch and Soda quickly took that edge off. My wife chose an Aperol Spritz cocktail, and it was perfect to her liking.

The 13-year-old decided that he was ravenous, and although ravenous and fussy are a complex combination, he ordered a margarita pizza. My daughter, at 9-years old, decided that she needed cheese. Being an Italian restaurant, cheese was easy to find, and she ordered the delicious Bastoncini Mozzarella sticks.

The second Scotch seemed to open up my hunger, and I followed the same suit and ordered the Polpette meatball starter. Unfortunately, while the first two food items’ delivery was quick and impressive, the meatball order was slow. I didn’t notice until the waitress apologised and explained the tardy service resulting from shift change. She was so gentle and apologetic that I didn’t register anything close to irritation and told her not to apologise.

There were four meatballs and four of us, but the coincidence stopped there. I ate three of them – delicious – and the rest of the family were allowed to sample the final one.

Then a crew of locals arrived, and a small chunk of hell broke loose. Boisterous and in excellent spirits, they chose vodka bevvies to set the tone, and it’s not entirely impossible that a few shooters went down while their vodkas were being poured. But, being the dignified family man that I am, I stood back and shook my head in disappointment and ordered another double Scotch.

Then another family of locals arrived and came over to say hello, before heading over to their booked table. It was filling up for the first sitting of the evening.

Finally, as we were getting ready to leave, a family of 12 arrived. There were grannies and grandpas, young parents, older parents, a punk rock teenager with spiked hair, and a few younger nerdish kids. However, they were combined in their familiarity with the joint and the owners, who greeted them all.

It’s nice to have such a warm and friendly place in St Francis. A few restaurants tend to develop a slightly less-warm approach to patrons over the season.

The light meal and drinks came to R750,00, including a fairly generous tip to show our appreciation.