AN AWKWARD LUNCH EXPERIENCE IN AN UPSCALE CASUAL RESTAURANT
Yesterday, my supervisor offered to take me out for lunch as appreciation of my efforts made on my presentation for her last board meeting. I didn’t think it was a good idea because it was raining, besides, who goes out in the rain to have lunch when you could just place an order delivery? But then who was I to say no? It’s free food after all, and an opportunity to explore another restaurant.
It was finally lunch time so off we went, we were both awkwardly quiet and didn’t utter a word to each other, so I politely asked her the restaurant we’re headed for. “Where do you normally take your girlfriends for lunch?” was her response to me. No one had to beg me to keep quiet and just head wherever the boat sails.
We got to VI and she drove along Adeola Odeku street and I knew it’s definitely going to be one of the highbrow restaurants in VI, so we landed at Casper and Gambini’s premises. It felt like a dream come true because I haven’t been here since they changed location and I always wanted to know what this new place would feel like.
As we got into the premises of Alibert building, I was first excited about how convenient it was to park our car compared with their previous location. Victoria Island and their reputation for housing big establishments with little or no parking space, wheew! 🤦🏾♂️. Even though it was raining on this day and there weren’t so many cars outside, I could tell that the parking space will be just enough to accommodate as many cars as the restaurant could hold on a very busy day. So we got down from the car and dashed into the restaurant, climbed a staircase and got welcomed by a waiter.
At this point, my first observation was the décor; it was the contemporary dark modern décor and similar to that of their former location. Table setting here was perfectly suited for dining in 2s, 3s, 4s and large groups. There was this glass door demarcation between the smoking area and the non-smoking area? The smoking area was well ventilated with huge typhoon fans to blow the smoke through the open corridor area.
The hospitality was amazing, the waiter followed us the moment we walked in and offered us a table for two which presents itself with high seats, legs unable to reach the ground, but my supervisor asked if we could eat at the bar, they said yes, and I had no objection to that. Casper & Gambini’s is one of those restaurants where the waiters know what they’re doing, I could tell from their countenance that they were bold and confident about everything that has to do with restaurant hospitality. This my observation led me to asking questions. I started with “hey, please can you explain what’s going on here with the bar? I notice that the bar is sort of sectioned into two parts.” So he explains that it’s an L-shaped divided between the coffee section and the cocktail area.
To be honest, the bar area was pretty impressive and really long to accommodate a lot of sitters, and from how I looked at it, it might just be the perfect spot to enjoy a few drinks with friends while watching live band performances. Oh yes, the waiter also explained that they occasionally host live bands here on certain days of the week. While he was explaining, my supervisor took a walk to the restroom, I saw this as a window of opportunity to take a short walk around the restaurant. I could tell that the restaurant could perfectly cater to dining in groups without the need to reorganise seats. The deeper end of the restaurant was somewhat demarcated with a short fenced-like structure and indoor plants with sofa couches enough to accommodate dining for as many as 8-10, so yes, this space had to be specifically created for group dining.
At this point, my supervisor got back from her restroom journey, then we placed our orders. The bartender took our order for drinks while the waiter took that of food. My boss ordered Pizza and a Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail, while I ordered Asian Sesame Chicken Salad and a bottle of water because I was either feeling a bit vegan or I was feeling a bit like I didn’t want to drain my supervisor’s pocket 🙈, you choose.
Since we sat by the bar, I was able to have a closer look at the bartender while he mixed the cocktail, he mixed it like he was going to serve the Queen of England and I almost changed my mind about having just a bottle of water, yes, he was that good!
Our order arrived in less than fifteen minutes and it was about time to get down. The veggies in the Asian sesame chicken salad didn’t disappoint my taste buds.
So while eating, we had a lot of time to talk about my presentation and occasionally, we experienced awkward silence in between conversations, this is when I usually wish that a restaurant had TVs. There was actually a TV in the restaurant though, but I don’t think the placement was intended to allow easy viewing by every guest, as a matter of fact, not sure that about 70% of the entire restaurant would have a view of TV, so yes, here isn’t your go-to place for football games, except you get the best viewing spot.
At this point, I had finished my salad, and my supervisor offered I pinched from her pizza, oh boy was I happy cos I had been eyeing that nice-looking pizza from the very beginning 😂.
To be honest guys, my experience at Casper & Gambini’s was the most awkward, from the awkward silence, to the awkwardness of taking good pictures. You needed to have seen the facial expression on my supervisor’s face when I was like, “sorry please can I snap your pizza” 😂.
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