I was sitting in Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell on Friday night before we enjoyed a mid-late evening rush. It really was great seeing nearly every table occupied and Maribelle and her staff coping with it all superbly. But I digress…before the rush.
I was tapping away at a spreadsheet and two ladies were finishing their meal at the next door table. “Are you the owner?” said one. Not sure what she was about to say, I said that I was. You have changed all the staff since I came here two years ago, have you not? Oh no, I feared she was a pal of one of the old codgers we used to employ. Once again: “yes” said I.
“Congratulations" she said and then added that the food was much better than two years ago, the atmosphere, décor, menu had been transformed and that it now looked like a sharp, cleanly designed, great restaurant. And she thought that Maribelle’s downstairs looked amazing. “Cripes, what’s the but…” I wondered.
The lady said she had to tell me because she was herself a restaurant manager, had been in the trade for 21 years, and she knew what hard work it must have been and she just wanted to say how impressed she was. What a nice lady.
And so I am sure that if you cannot make it into Clerkenwell but can get only as far as Highbury, you would have a wonderful experience at Il Bacio at 178-184 Blackstock Road, N5 1HA. Its manageress is clearly someone of taste and charm and I cannot believe would put a foot wrong.