Mario owns a restaurant around the corner from where we live. It is a restaurant par excellence. One of the best in the city.
Mario is a very temperamental Italian, living and working in this cool northern German climate. Mario is either sun or storm. Northern Germans emotional climate changes range from a refreshing drizzle to relentless rain.
Mario loves making excellent food. He cooks for northern customers southern delights. What he ask for in return, is for those who eat at the restaurant to be seduced by good food and drink.
As long as you come to the restaurant for the food, and not for its reputation of being one of the best restaurants in the city, all is well. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, how much money you have, Mario is only concerned about your taste buds: how curious and adventurous your culinary Geist is. He can detect a connoisseur ten yards away, a fraud from twenty yards.
And, Mario being Mario, never one to make compromises, thinks nothing of subtly and not so subtly, letting his customers know which category they belong to.
With those customers of discriminating tastes, he jokes and charms his way into your heart and belly. He tells tales about looking far-and-wide for this evening’s meat, searching for the freshly picked strawberries served with the to-die-for mascapone sauce. The more you enjoy your meal, the happier Mario is. He doesn’t talk much. He certainly never fawns over you. Yet, his gait becomes light: he almost dances back and forth between your table and the kitchen.
He watches the expression on your face, the attention you give to the food, the lingering over the wine… this is the praise he seeks.