Our latest mission in search of great food and service was more than successful. After blocks of walking and talking and holding hands, it was officially a “date.” It was late lunch… after two… when we found ourselves at Marco Ristorante Italiano at the corner of High and Court. Roger ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwich and I the Chicken Picatta.
“Fredo, I think we need to try the fresh fried mozzarella appetizer to start.” I said.
“Of course, Bella.” He replied.
As Fredo walked away I reached across the table, grabbed Roger’s hands and said” “Oh my gosh, honey, I feel like we’re on vacation!”
Marco’s fried mozzarella appetizer was delicious. It was not like Geppetto’s fried mozzarella sticks which satisfy me and the multitudes just fine. They’re good, especially with Geppetto’s Family sauces for dipping. What Marco prepared for us that day was a beautiful slice of fresh, hand breaded mozzarella. It was wonderfully obvious… we weren’t at Geppetto’s in Salem, Oregon. We were somewhere in Rome. Roger and I often dream together about traveling there. Someday, God willing, that dream will become a reality.
Meanwhile, I noticed the couple seated at table on the sidewalk had been finished with their meal for some time. I expected them to pay and leave, when suddenly they ordered Espresso. Surprised, I thought, this is the kind of place where you relax, take your time, get away from the insanity of the world around us, enjoy fresh food prepared to order and take time to breathe. Hmmm… sounds a lot like vacation.
Following our fabulous lunch, chef, Marco Baldieri, visited our table. We chatted a while. We enjoyed hearing some about the many photos which adorn the walls. Marco is a world renowned chef who obviously cares deeply about food quality and preparation.
Eventually, Roger let the cat out of the bag about us owning Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant here in town. The conversation then turned into a master class and a good bit of “You bought a restaurant? You’re crazy!”
As we left Marco said, “We take Sundays off. If you’re open we’ll come for dinner this Sunday.” My heart skipped a little. Sure enough, a reservation for three was on the books for six o’clock Sunday. More later… this story is too good for one Stardate. Our vacation ended as we drove home to Geppetto’s but we were given a getaway at Marco Ristorante and the memories remain. Stay tuned!