Monday, 4 August 2008

Out to lunch...

The Sock and Bedsock like to lunch out in Brighton so we were pleased to find that Aldo Zilli had opened a new gaff opposite the Brighton Library (a building which when opened won a Design Award but sadly lacked books!).


We invariably share our dishes - not because as the Sock once romantically suggested that if we got food-poisoning we would both die together (this theory didn’t work with the shared Plateau de fruits de mer when the Bedsock got the duff oyster and was incredibly ill). It is because by sharing nobody misses out if one dish turns out to be somewhat better than the other. It also gives us chance to be more adventurous and whilst in France one might have a safe option of Lapin à la moutarde the other can try out a Fromage de tête de veau knowing that if it is truly vile we will both still get half a decent meal. Luckily both of us know never to order andouillettes as there would be a distinct possibility that the plate swap would be off.

It was with plate swapping in mind that when lunching at Zilli’s we started with a shared Calamari Fritti Serviti con Salsa di Maionese e Basilico and then ordered a Spaghetti all’ Aragosta (lobster spaghetti pictured) and Filetto di Tonno con Caponata Siciliana, Capperi e Olive for mains. Zilli himself served us and admonished that the lobster was so good we would not want to share it!! For a moment we froze... and I knew that the Bedsock was remembering the “Lobster Incident”.

Many years ago we stopped for lunch at the Walnut Tree Inn near Abergavenny which was run by the Bedsock’s first food hero Franco Taruschio. After a fabulous starter of vincisgrassi (a pasta dough filled with porcini, parma ham and topped with shavings of truffles) our mains were a Brodetto and a Spaghetti con sugo di Arogosta . The Sock had the lobster first. It was divine, there was a more than generous portion of sweet and succulent welsh lobster topping the sauce coated spaghetti. The Sock devoured her half and then swapped plates with the Bedsock leaving him to finish the remaining ................... spaghetti. The Sock, in the belief that there was plenty more lobster hiding under the spaghetti, had inadvertently eaten the lot!

The crumpled face of disappointment on the Bedsock was heart-breaking to see. Nothing the Sock could say or do could make it up and it was clear the Bedsock believed she had done it on purpose. It became known as “The Lobster Incident” and the guilt of it has stayed with the Sock over the years. In future she would err on the side of generosity and always ensure she ate less than half of each swapped plate leaving the Bedsock the best bit!

Aldo Zilli’s lobster spag was also delicious as was the rest of the meal and it is good to find that at last there is a decent Italian restaurant in Brighton.

10 comments:

Fat Rascal said...

It's a very romantic notion but it doesn't work for even fatter Rascal and me.

He eats like a Labrador and me like a...I was going to say snail but they chomp their way through things pretty quickly too!

He usually has all of his meal and half of mine, which is why he is even fatter.

We had a dhal incident -when he claimed the one he ordered wasn't very hot and after one mouthful I couldn't eat, drink or speak. Maybe it WAS deliberate....

emmat said...

Tee hee. I have a bad habit of growling like a dog if someone tries to nick even a tiny bit of my dinner. Even somebody i really love. I can't help it, it just comes out from some evolutionarily lower place.

Arabella Sock said...

Steal my food - feel my fork!

My brother used to steal the best bits of food off my plate. I can remember with Christmas cake eating the boring fruit cake, then eating the boring sugar icing and leaving the lovely great hunk of marzipan until last.. only to have it disappear off my plate and into his mouth. I then got laughed at by the family for crying. Life was tough...

Now I eat all the best bits first to make sure I get them!

VP said...

That reminds me of eating with my cousins Arabella - shovel everything in as fast as you can and then all the other plates still with food on them are fare game.

Oh God I'm hungry now - must go and fix a little snacklet before beddy byes...

Dishwasher Crab said...

With some people it is not just a matter of eating the best bits first. I had a husband once who liked to eat all the food in the house before he went to bed at night. And I mean ALL. He'd clean up leftovers, empty the fridge, polish off whole packets of biscuits, just so no one else would get them.

I was the only other person in the house.

I quickly learnt not to stock up too far in advance. Just one meal at a time.

Arabella Sock said...

Most food eating habits are the result of some deep psychological childhood trauma like having the food nicked off your plate.

The Bedsock's approach to pizza-eating is annoyingly different to mine. Whilst I start from the middle tearing the best bits out first and quite probably leaving the boring crusts, the Bedsock has an astonishing anal approach of cutting it all very neatly into pieces as he goes along and starting at one side and working methodically to the end! It drives me INSANE!!!!

VP said...

I'm sure there are psychologists doing whole treatises on the art of pizza eating as an indicator of pschopathic tendencies, depression, or any other personality trait etc. you care to name!

BTW I eat from the outside in. Because that way I get the best bits last!

VP said...

Forgot to add - eating Christmas cake with my cousins was perfect though. My cousin Kevin (yes, I DO have a cousin called Kevin!), would have the fruitcake, Angela the icing, leaving me with all the yummy marzipan. PERFECT!

VP said...

Shouldn't that be 'steal my food, feel my spork', Arabella?

Arabella Sock said...

Ha ha! We took the sporks out on a picnic. The Bedsock was quite miffed to find I had packed the red one for him when he wanted the black one. Some people are so fussy!