Years ago we enjoyed going to an Italian Restaurant called Il Molino, located in Greenwich Village, New York. What could be more welcoming a greeting than the huge wheel of parmesan cheese right past the entrance? It instantly put us into the mood for a wonderful Italian dinner.
One day this summer we discovered a happy surprise; Il Molino cloned itself into a charming country Inn called Il Monello. A familiar site filled us with joy: a large wheel of Parmesan cheese about where the wheel of Parmesan was placed in the Manhattan restaurant. The food is prepared in the style of the Abruzzo region on the Adriatic coast. The wait staff originally worked in the original Il Monilo in New York and were good natured, friendly and helpful, full of good intentions and expert advice.
We wanted to share our “find” about good dinner spots, so we invited another couple to join us. They were also fans of Il Molino in the city. After a peaceful half hour drive through country roads lined with lovely bucolic scenes of magnificent estates and working farms lining the road to Peacock we turned into the driveway of Il Monello. Our friends were expectantly anxious about the experience they were about to enjoy at our recommendation.
But something was wrong. As we drove into the driveway no familiar sights greeted our eyes; no silhouettes full of diners, no waiters rushing from kitchen to tables carrying trays of delightful dinners for their guests. The parking lot was empty.
When we walked to the entrance of the restaurant we were met by a group of staff with the following story: “We almost called you to tell you not to come tonight. We’ve already turned way all the customers that were planning to have dinner here this evening. There was no power in the kitchen: no means of cooking anything. But the men from the public service company just left. They worked for 2 1/2 hours until power was finally turned back on. You have the restaurant to yourselves tonight!”
And we did! There were the four of us, being waited on by a full staff of professional waiters, assuring our every whim would be met. Although we didn’t really have any whims: just the desire for an authentic Italian dinner.
The meal was delicious, and as a special treat the staff brought out some after dinner treats: two bottles of cordials, one Sambuca and one Anisette. Treats for braving solo guest night at Il Monello.
I felt as if I should be the one to give them a treat for working that night for one small table of four hungry, happy customers from Morristown.