And so it's on to the next stage of our 11 course meal at Ristorante Casetta dell'orso.
What They Say
Italy, Rome. When she was a child, Nicoletta was taken in by her grandmother so that her mother could remarry. Now grown up, she leaves everything in the countryside behind to visit her mother and her mother's second husband, a restaurant owner. To her surprise, her stepfather did not know his wife had a daughter!
A restaurant she had previously visited, Casetta dell'orso is hosted by a cast of dreamy, cool gentlemen who all happen to wear glasses. This curious restaurant's staff include cameriere (waiters) Claudio, Luciano, and Vito, GiGi the sommelier, and chefs Furio and Teo. Because women find the staff so enchanting, business is bustling and reservations are extremely hard to come by at this little Roman treasure.
Amongst all this, Nicoletta decides, on a whim, to work at the restaurant. Gradually, she begins to become interested in one of the gentlemen...
Delicious food and dreamy gentlemen await at the Ristorante Casetta dell'orso. For everyone who works there, a tender connection to the hearts of each visitor is spun, and the curtain raises on a story about these first-rate Italian gentlemen in spectacles.
The Review! Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 7: A Special Day
Today we get to see the softer side of Luciano the curmudgeon?
It's his grandson Francesco's birthday coming up (he's turning nine), so Luciano is looking forward to doing something special for him. The usual: cake, gift, family. But Nicoletta, who's been talking to Luciano's daughter Margherita (Francesco's mother), asks if she can come to the party for Francesco (tomorrow is the staff's day off), and talks not only Marina (Vito's wife, who was sitting with Nicoletta and Margherita), but the entire staff of Casetta dell'orso into coming along to hold a big party for Francesco.
While that's the main focus for this episode, we also get a little bit of further development, or not, in the continuing pursuit of Claudio by Nicoletta, when the two of them go out for a brief while during the preparations for the party, taking Francesco along. As they are forced to hide for a moment (when Luciano just happens to appear near the juice bar that Francesco took them to), the two huddle together in a darkened alley. There's some hand-holding going on. And some blushing.
The party itself turns out well. The birthday boy and his friends are happy, the adults seem to enjoy doing this for him, and Luciano is, of course, sour-faced, but secretly very grateful for their efforts.
Looking to be an episode where we learn more about the resident sourpuss, Luciano, we do indeed learn a few things about his past. But more importantly, we see that Nicoletta has not given up her pursuit of Claudio. In fact, she seems to be just as smitten as ever. And he seems to be more comfortable with her than he had previously been. Instead of difficult pasts, today we mainly get to see some lighthearted, slice of life activity, without a single sour note (while Luciano is a widower, it appears that the whole family is relatively happy and gets along well). After the rather dramatic turns of the last two episodes (which dealt with marital infidelity in a quite serious way), this was a nice change of pace. One which will last for exactly this episode, as the preview for the next episode looks again like a trip to the melodramatic past of one of the staff members.
Japanese 2.0 Language; English subtitles.
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.