We went into a very local neighbourhood restaurant down in Trastevere, a Mom & Pop place, where Mom was a surprisingly apple-cheeked dame bustling around the tables in a colourful tomato-themed pinafore. In one corner -- their corner -- was a table of older gents; dapper, joshing one another, joshing Mom and her daughter the waitress, deeply engaged in conversation and in their food. The place slowly filled up, and then in burst a bunch of youths. The full flush of young Romano manhood, loud as anything, unselfconscious, toasting something or someone, I couldn’t tell which. Eleven of them, crammed round three small square tables, in about forty years, they’d be the older gents in the other corner, which would now be their corner. But right now the place reeked of testosterone and Romano amicizia.

We got up to leave, and as we were waiting at the door one of the young guys, who had been at the head of the table leading the proceedings, came up to Mom. “I splashed some sauce on my tee shirt, have you got some of that stuff to get rid of stains,” he asked, very politely.

“Here, let me do that for you,” she said, reaching into a cupboard by the door for a can of spray stuff. And he stood there quietly, while she fussed over him, as any Mom here would.

Full service restaurant, as The Squeeze observed later.

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