Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Day nine-laughable Cornish Italian resturant

After a day of making sandcastles and spotting tiny crabs scuttling along the bottom of the clear turquoise harbour. And me stopping every 5 minutes to study a wild green - usually embedded in one of the sheer cliff walls that characterise Looe. We headed out to Papa Nicos in East Looe. Our criteria had been, that our restaurant of choice had to be:

• Child friendly
• Serve local seafood
• Open (a lot of places don't seem to be open out of season)

A blackboard outside of Papa Nicos boasted that it served local lobsters, scallops and had a catch of the day. We had been advised that they were child friendly.

Ducking down through the dark low door we entered a small cavern with walls be-decked with dusty straw covered Chianti bottles and china vegetables. An Italian plate positioned prominately advertised the recipe for bolognaise sauce. I hoped it wasn't there to be referred to.

Making ourselves comfortable by leaning on the scratchy wall as we stood and waited to be seated didn't seem to attract the waitress. Papa Nicos is the size of a postage stamp and she only had one table to see too. Telling. Shifting our bodies around in a modestly uncomfortable way also didn't attract this resilient woman. Oskar(3 years) making a lot of noise did. He's a very useful chap.

We were waved to our table with a none committal back wave of her hand and we sat eating the thin packets of bread sticks with the use by date carefully covered up by thick black permanent marker. Waiting seemed to be the name of the game around here; so we waited and waited and waited. As you can imagine we were just dropping off when she enquired about drinks. Seemingly startled to see a 'child' (even though she had seen Oskar when we entered) she gathered together a thoroughly used tome of colouring pictures and a small handful of irritating colouring pencils with most of their tips missing.

Used to waiting now, we had started to see this as an endurance test and gave each other sly looks and giggled. As an afterthought, the menus were dropped on the table. I ordered Scallops in a white wine and ginger sauce, Jason had Spaghetti mussels and tomatoe sauce and Oskar had meat balls.

The 'Specials' were scrawled on the chalk board but also were printed on a heavily used laminated sheet. The Specials obviously weren’t so special after all. The food wasn't awful, but was overpriced and with the adage of the aged waitress rushing about making an art of fafiness and occasionally crossing words with the chef (whose' turtle like head would come out and just stare at the whole two tables of people then retreat). Our drinks arrived long after our food. We were relieved to leave, admittedly though with smiles of our faces from our hosts antics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Far cry from the superb pasties my landlady used to make when I had digs in Cornwall 60 years ago. (Though they do export some pretty authentic ones to towns such as Kingston, I suppose.) The shellfish dishes in restaurants were out of this world but also out of reach of my pocket, except for one or two rare occasions. Your culinary experiences in West Bay seem to more than reach your expectations. I wonder if it is the same place where we had delicious West Bay sole a number of years ago. We slept in a bedroom where a storm at sea seemed to be trying to force its way into our bedroom. Scary ! LOL R&P