I've been going to a wonderful little Italian neighborhood restaurant for many years. The décor may have been from the 1960's, but it had that reassuring mom and pop old-world charm. There were generous helpings of all the classics like ravioli and eggplant parm, plus salads topped with a fabulous dressing. The booths may have been covered in garish, squishy plastic and some of the wait staff looked like they might have escaped from the local rest home, but all that formica and crusty senior citizen attitude gave it a real family-run feel.
This was before the family decided to 'make a few improvements.' The augmentations to my haunt started slowly – a few new windows, a new bar with shiny stools, a slick new menu with a slight price rise. But now, a few years down the line, my favorite Italian has been ruined by their unbridled ambitions. No more retro plastic booths, no more tacky decorations that your blind granny might have made in pottery class. Plus, the prices are growing faster than my waistline while the portions are shrinking faster than the ice caps. A glass of wine has now doubled in price! Yikes!
So much for the modernizations that have given my cozy restaurant delusions of grandeur. The family's new generation of entrepreneurs seem to think they've moved to the big city of Milan from a humble village in Naples, but the truth is they are still in the suburbs. New and improved is not always better!
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