Sweetest little baby
Daddy ever saw
I’m gonna keep you lovin’ baby
I’m gonna give you more
Bring it on home, bring it on home
BACK in the 20th century during an excursion while on my semester abroad, I found myself at a sandwich shop in Rome trying to place a ‘to-go’ order. It was not an easy task. In addition to the language difference, with Italy seemingly being the lone holdout to English everywhere in Western Europe – the concept itself was inconceivable.
‘Where are you going to eat this food, on the street?,’ probably asked the server behind the counter. ‘E impossibilie’ probably thought all the patrons standing around eating their sandwiches. And had I been able to respond ‘At my desk’ in Italian it probably would have elicited a thunderous roar and an Italian punchline still in use today:
‘Alla mia scrivania’
“Ahahaha!$@#$^& (Hahaha in english, plus some expletive)
Italian’s eat their food onsite, it’s part of life, usually accompanied by a birra or vino della casa no matter the time of day. So you could understand my amusement in thinking what an oxymoron ‘Serafina To Go’ might be.
More so for anyone who’s been to a regular Serafina, where at least in its early years was as much about people-watching and air-kissing as it was pizza and pasta. A little Fellini comes to Manhattan at half-the cost of Cipriani.
And now it’s coming to the corner of Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard1 of all places, so I guess times really have changed and maybe Italians order ‘Cibo da portar via’ regularly these days?
Alas I haven’t been back to Italy since that trip decades ago, and any cardinal dining rules I took away from that sojourn were broken within 48 hours of arriving back on U.S. soil when I walked into a Greek coffee-shop in upstate NY and ordered a chicken parm hero2 for the road.
So I know it won’t be long before I gaze at the website of Serafina To Go and wonder if they might have an early-bird special before placing an order for some carpaccio malatesta and gnocchi di mamma and bringing ‘La Dolce Vita’ to my studio apartment for a night.