Even though you always pay attention to that, this time you decide to pay more. You choose your best suit, the bow tie that suits you the best, the most beautiful Rolex you have. You polish your shoes so much that you can see your beard on them while you wait for your cab.
In a few words you get ready for the most important meeting in your life, the one with the lady who could change your life. Truth is hard to accept though, and is generally not wrong: the meetings you expect more from bring you the worst delusions.
One only look can make you understand: your care for this meeting, the same you always feel, was not the same on both sides.
The Osteria Francescana, the most important restaurant in the world, the place I chose as “zero” stop before my departure for my road show is in Modena, in an anonymous pedestrian street. “Ugly” is my first thought. My impression is confirmed when entering the restaurant. More similar to a house than a temple of food industry.
The room makes me change my mind: only four tables ready to host thirteen guests. White tablecloths, dishes with golden borders, perfect light.
I quickly sit down: I put my Montblanc agenda on the table and start writing my notes. This is the way I make everyone feel my presence. I look for the maître with my eyes: judging from the way he moves and talks he looks like a real ace, such a shame that he did not show up very much during dinner time. I get impressed by the absence of a water list. Only one is served: you cannot choose others. Differently from wine: the wine cellar is supplied and full of fine labels, but no one accompanies me to visit it. No one gives me any advises and no one even accompanies my chair when I am back from the restroom. The sommelier must be busy with the maître…
I order a degustation menu lasting a couple of hours. High level courses, for sure, with fine and particular first materials, but served in ruined dishes, consumed by time and guests. It is not exactly what you expect from a starred restaurant.
At the end of the surely not unforgettable night, the Petite patisserie, the selection of desserts of the Osteria Francescana, everything with chocolate (what about other tastes?) and then the check. Very steep.
That might be the most important restaurant in the world, but it did not satisfy my taste, not my palate and not even my eyes.
I leave the restaurant disappointed and slightly angry: I call a cab. I am going to the airport. My road show can finally begin. I hope it gives me different satisfactions…