Last Friday something sensational happened.
Ads and his biz partner launched their evening dining experience.
Up until now Tramezzini has been open six days a week but only until 4pm. During the day this wonderful little hot-house of talent and atmosphere has the quality of a Mediterranean coffee house that also happens to offer secret delicacies and tantalising specials.
Quite simply, it is the best place to eat.
In the world.
I’m not saying this just because I love Ads enough to perpetually close the drawers he’s left open in our bedroom. I’m saying it because it’s true. So true that I have been irreversibly spoilt by his food and I now can now eat nowhere without a sense of disappointed.
It is so true that TripAdvisor have given them the Isle of Wight Award For Excellence two years running.
And TripAdvisor are practically the GOD of OPINION.
Last Friday evening Tramezzini crossed the threshold from Sicilian coffee house to Italian kitchen. It was a warm, sultry night and the double doors were wide open. Delicious cooking aromas, laughter and the sound of clinking glasses curled out into the Victorian high street.
Myself, Naughty N, Golden Curly, Lovely Sarah, Jols, the Fosbury Goddess, the Sao Lorenz Goddess and Nicola were nestled at a table by the window. Here we drank chilled white wine and watched the people outside pass by.
These passers included;
1. A highly successful fashion designer who is quite shy.
2. A man who nearly rested himself to death.
3. A group of men dressed in red
frocks dresses, fake breasts and wigs. They hadn’t put much thought into their make-up.
After the passers had gone our starters arrived. There was much hand rubbing and wide-eyed-ness and lip-smacking.
“This looks AMAZING!” I heard Golden Curly declare.
Then everyone fell quiet and munched.
I had sautéed king prawns with garlic, baby caper and lemon butter, IOW salad leaves and warm ciabatta. Fosbury Goddess had Isle of Wight Heritage tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, tomato granite, fresh pesto and salad leaves.
Because Tramezzini is quite small, there was a gorgeously intimate atmosphere as we ate.
We could see the boys behind the cheese counter, industriously preparing the food, whilst the waitress, clutching cutlery and bottles of wine, limboed past them. It would seem that most of those bottles of wine were coming to our table, as by the time we had completed our starter most people were incredibly pissed.
Apart from my pure self.
Who does not booze.
Being booze free whilst surrounded by pissed people appears to render me highly creative in my attempts to have fun. And as I was scooping the last little morsels out of my bowl, I glanced out of the window to see a man emerge from the Arts Club on the opposite side of the road.
“Look – a photographer … I bet he’s from the newspaper,” I blurted, grabbing Naughty N’s arm. “Go and tell him to come in here!”
Naughty N (highly pissed, on top form and open to suggestions), threw back chair and armed with the Sao Lorenz Goddess, leapt onto high street and called “Man with camera! Come back! Come back!”
I watched NN’s body language with bated breath and my heart sunk as her shoulders slumped down. He wasn’t coming back. But then … THEN … her face lifted into a great big smile and after the appropriate lag time (him dragging himself reluctantly towards two mad women) the photographer was ushered into the deli.
At this point my co-diners began to simultaneously insist he took photographs of the food and publish them in the paper with a fabulous Tramezzini At Night launch write-up. It was clear from his face that he was feeling pressured and intimidated. Ads, who was peering over cheese counter, was also looking a bit confused.
I decided to take control of situation. Stood up, cleared throat. Told others to shh.
“Excuse me … Toby, isn’t it?” Had no idea what his name was, but Toby seemed a good enough guess.
“It’s Robin,” he replied, looking faintly relieved that a sane-non-pissed person was present in vicinity.
“Of course. So sorry. Were you photographing in the Arts Club this evening?” Small talk always helpful in these situations.
“Yes, there was a cabaret act. A well known transvestite from London. Her name was Terri.”
Nodded with Arty-Cultured-Classy-Cabaret-Appreciation, then got directly to the point.
Explained it was the launch of Tramezzini’s evening menu. Explained that it was the sort of news worthy event that should have an wonderful write up in the local paper. Suggested he took some wonderful shots of food. By this point Ads and his biz partner had emerged from their work area and were arranging themselves with plates of loveliness.
TobyRobinTobyRobin couldn’t say no.
He took the shots.
I promised him a press release.
He evacuated the building.
Wah-lah. Amazing what you can do in the small space between the starter and the main.
“I have one pea and goats cheese risotto, fennel and herb salad and mint pesto?” said the waitress, who had magically appeared at the edge of our table.
The mains had arrived!
Can’t think who had the fresh crab, cherry tomato, lemon and spinach linguini with coriander – but someone did. There was also slow cooked pork belly, sun blush tomatoes and fennel stuffing, Dolcelatte risotto and baby leaves. Golden Curly had duck ragu with slow cooked tomato and chilli, parmesan and chive polenta. She saved a morsel for Sao Lorenz Goddess, who in turn offered it to me.
I shook my head. Held up my hands.
Was quite incapable of talking.
You see, I’d had ricotta and parmesan dumplings, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and truffle cream sauce. Not sure what possessed me to order them as I have deep-seated dumpling issues. However I did.
And in the moment of dumpling to taste-bud connection, it was as if the very volume in the deli was turned down.
All of the happy chatter was suddenly absorbed into nothingness and the faces of people became blurred.
All that remained in the Entire Cosmic Universe was
and my parmesan dumplings,
the combination of which began playing out an almost X-rated cosmic interplay that could only be described as Culinary God Porn.
After a pause that can not be measured within the concept of time or space,
the experience came to an end.
I polished the plate with my finger.
Someone pressed Play.
The voices, the laughter, the cutlery on plates, the wine glasses chinking, the stories told, the pans being moved, the warmth, the balm, the smells, the movement, the colour … all started living again.
That’s when Sao Lorenz offered me the duck.
And I could only shake my head.
When a dumpling has had that sort of effect on you, it is quite natural to refuse any other food for some time. It is also natural to refuse a dessert. I sat, stunned, sipping water whilst the others ordered their final sweet treats.
Having said that when Naughty N’s clotted cream Panna Cotta, Panetonni crisp and black pepper strawberries turned up, my ability to eat gently returned.
Naughty N did not fight off my spoon with hers.
So, as you can now see, something sensational really did happen last Friday. And it is going to be happening every Friday and Saturday evening From Now On. So if you live on this diamond shaped island, you really do need to come and experience this wonderful place. If you don’t live here then it is worth visiting the Isle of Wight just for Tramezzini. And if you live a long way away, like New Zealand or Africa, you should definitely consider flying to the UK just for this.
I will make sure that Ads puts the cosmic dumplings on the menu.