I ate a pretty good hunk of branzino at Barolo yesterday. But it wasn’t the best part of my visit.
Nor was it the sexy candle wax sculptures dripping off the candelabras. Or the hot Italian waiters in their hot Italian jeans. Or the rigatoni Bolognese, or the Tuscan bean puree drizzled with tomato oil (though that was pretty winsome), or the fact that I got to eat a three-course lunch for $15. (Remember folks: Just three more days left in Dine Around Seattle. Three more days!)
No, the best part of my visit to Barolo was Rose, my waiter. She was my favorite kind of waiter: frank, decisive, efficient. No smushy small-talk (what female solo diners so often must endure); no insipid “Everything’s good!” when asked what was outstanding.
“What’s outstanding is the branzino and the gnocchi,” she replied, with just the right touch of declarative swagger. She knew without having to ask the kitchen that the stuff swimming around in my olive oil was indeed caponata. She told me I was ordering too much for one person to eat (occupational hazard), and I appreciated her candor. She brought my doggy bags swiftly and without undue attention to herself.
She was, in short, a pro. And this is my thank you.