It was cold and grey in London yesterday so something needed to be done to dispel the winter gloom.
So I met up with my pal Joanne at the Curzon cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue. We enjoyed a pre-cinema drink in the fabulous downstairs bar before seeing Martha Marcy May Marlene, a gripping psychological drama about a girl who has fled to her sister's after two years in a cult. Excellent understated acting, judicious editing and an important point to be made.
Well, after the tension we decided to relax over dinner and agreed to try an eatery more or less at random so we went to Melanie, an Italian restaurant in nearby Old Compton Street http://www.melanieitalianrestaurant.co.uk/. It turned out to be a very good choice. My whitebait was fresh and crispy and Joanne's prawns were succulent and easily peeled. The saltimbocca alla Romana, my very favourite dish, was not bad given the difficulty of sourcing good meat in Britain, and Joanne's veal and aubergine was declared very tasty. The tiramisu was disappointing as there was too much sponge (although it had plenty of booze in it). I don't care for strawberry cheesecake but I think Joanne's choice there was a good one. The Frascati was gently fruity and very agreeable. We liked the attentive staff, and chatting to them later when things were quieter was pleasant, though I'm not so sure about the cheeky serenade I got when my main was brought! The waitress, a slip of a girl of 21, was very complimentary about my hair (pity it's not my own!) and the Portuguese waiter was chatty. Luigi the owner is someone we decided it was worth getting to know better as we will definitely be back.
A great way to spend the later half of a gloomy Wednesday. Soho is just so fabulously accepting of the T community that you can let your guard right down and really enjoy yourself.