Someone suggested that I might use my own experiences of working in restaurants as a basis for this blog. I don’t know about that but thinking of it I was reminded of a famous restaurant named Sbirro’s which is not unworthy of mention.

Sbirro’s can best be described as minimalist. A plain and simple restaurant that caters to men of fine sensibility and taste. There is no menu as I recall, each night a single meal is served. Superbly prepared and served this dish is accepted by the clientele and devoured in a fitting manner.

From time to time The Speciality of the House is served. A delicate dish called Lamb Armistan.

It will be noticed that this is only served after the suspicious disappearance of one of the regular guests. One is warned not to accept the proprietor’s invitation to visit the kitchen.

Of course you will have realised that Sbirro’s is a purely fictional establishment and that the famed Lamb Armistan is………

I first heard this story many years a go as a dramatisation on the BBC Home Service many years ago.

The story was presented again as the final broadcast in the BBC Radio 4 series Fear on Four in 1988
The Speciality Of The House (20/3/88)
by Stanley Ellin, adapted by Colin Haydn Evans:
Timothy West, David March, Paul Gregory, Tim Reynolds
Dir – Gerry Jones

I, of course, listened and was entertained again as I had been as a child:

Cover of an edition of the story found on sale from Amazon.

Cover of an edition of the story found on sale from Amazon.

Now I must find myself a copy of this tale.

By the way, if you are interested in Radio Drama, still best produced by the BBC on radio’s Three and Four, then go to this address and click on Radio Plays.

Enjoy your next meal.

Having first visited the recipes presented by my fellow Chefs….. The Loose Blogging consortium: Grannymar, Marianna , Conrad, Ashok ,Ramana and Maria


7 Responses to “Restaurants”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    Another great tale.

    I still enjoy the variety of BBC plays.

  2. magpie11 Says:

    Ah! But not my tale……

  3. Ursula Says:

    Oh my god, Magpie! On principle I never enter anyone’s kitchen, particularly if it’s common knowledge that the host is broke; not that there is that much meat on my bones; still, once slaughtered, boned and hung for a few days, I might amount to an amuse-bouche. How very amusing. And the silence will be deafening.


  4. magpie11 Says:

    Lovely reply Ursula…made I smile! Thank you.

  5. Marianna Says:

    You did it again! I was settling in for story-time and thinking, “Hey, that’s the kind of restaurant I would open!” Another right-turn.

    Thanks for keeping it interesting!

  6. Rummuser Says:

    What a tale Magpie! I wonder how many such interesting tidbits you have hidden up your sleeve! I shall land up one of these days and demand Darjeeling tea, or Coorg coffee from you. We lesser mortals do not get them here, what with hard currency blokes willing to pay exorbitant prices for them.

    Radio plays takes me down memory lane, not quite the BBC but the Indian versions on the All India Radio (Now called Aakashvani). In these days of FM and ICE systems, I seem to have got out of the habit. I just listen to Satellite Radio playing somewhere in the background while I solve crossword puzzles or am at the computer blogging/surfing etc.

  7. magpie11 Says:

    Well people, I have ordered a copy of the book from my local, friendly bookshop ( ). A privately run emporium offering the highest standard of service.

    Well Marianna, it is the the ultimate idea in restaurants (apart from the Speciality of the House)…. I would make it as much like my ideal home dining room as possible…Oh, how I love daydreams.

    As for Darjeeling tea….why not take a holiday up there? If that’s possible.
    Can you not buy it anywhere?

    I came across atee harvested from a single tree a while back. Much too expensive to buy. The Chinese had taken cuttings and planted them in various places, some on the same plot of land, but noe had come up to the quality of the origonal. The French have a word for it in wine circles: terroir. Terroir is the sum of soil, climate and other factors that affect the growth of the vine or, in this case, tree.

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