There’s a really great restaurant in the neighborhood that serves sort of Euro-fusion cuisine and has a pretty great lunch deal—pasta, salad, a small slice each of prosciutto and baguette, a small meat dish, a plate of rice if you want it, and a drink of your choice. They do a lot of nice little details, like a bottle of cinnamon on the table for your coffee, and fancy French sea salt (or maybe ordinary salt in a fancy French box—who can tell?)
It’s also very quirky. It’s on the third floor and there is a spiral staircase you have to climb, which is tiring on the way up and dizzying on the way down.
It’s run by a couple–he does the cooking and she waits the tables. I assume they’re married because they fight…A LOT. He seems a bit of a Nazi (I’ve never tried to order soup there) and she’s rather conciliatory. They also have a lot of rules. If you sit at the bar, you’re not allowed to put your stuff on the empty seat next to you. You’re never allowed to take a table for four people if there are only two of you. You’re not allowed to stay more than an hour unless you order more stuff. And all of the above apply even if there are no other customers at the time. I assume all of this is because turnover is so important, especially at lunchtime, but I’ve actually seen customers walk away, even after facing the dreaded spiral staircase, when they weren’t allowed to sit where they wanted to.
The place opened in 1995 and they seem to only rarely take a holiday. That’s a lot of together time for any couple. The spats and rules kind of remind me of when I visit someone’s family and they have a way of doing something that seems perfectly normal to them but totally goofy to me. I’ve certainly had friends look at me oddly when they see how I do some things at home, but I usually have a fairly sane explanation for some of the insane things I do.