London, United Kingdom
February 15, 2005
Da Maria is a great place for a cheap eat in a great cucina casalinga (home-cooking) environment. The decor is rudimentary – green walls – and we shared our table with faster eaters than ourselves. But the food was filling, the service very friendly, and the whole experience memorable and enjoyable.
Having arrived quite late, we found that several of the items on the menu (including the artichokes al forno and the scallops in wine) had run out and so had been crossed off the menu. Tina ordered ravioli with meat sauce, while I went for the aubergine and mystery meat with bread. We munched on big slabs of fresh bread while we waited for our food to come. We could see that many of our fellow eaters were regular patrons, while a few looked like students and other less-frequent visitors. From my seat, I could see vigorous washing-up going on in the kitchen, and we could hear plenty of banging of pots and pans.
Our food came quite quickly and could be described as hearty or honest rather than delicate or innovative. It was excellent. We dipped slabs of bread in the sauce and enjoyed all the activity around us. We skipped dessert and shared a big slice of gorgonzola and more bread to end our meal.
When it came to pay, we were directed back to the entry room, where Maria herself stood behind the cash register. She is a dear old lady with a great twinkle in her eye. She asked us what we had, we told her, and she told us that our total bill came to 14€. We paid and then politely asked Maria if we could take a picture. This must have happened before – Maria agreed gladly, took Tina behind the counter for the photo, and gave us a wonderful smile. It was a great ending to a memorable experience.
From journal Medieval Genoa - Ancient and Vibrant City