I was having a really rubbish weekend and now I can’t even remember the details. It was people, I guess, isn’t it always? People can be rubbish sometimes. So I went to Morito for lunch, a place I go often. I love the food they serve and the people who work there. Neither are ever rubbish.
Hugo, the lovely manager, saw I wasn’t right. He’d been Morito’s manager since it opened and he’s moved to Jago, now, where I’m longing to go. This weekend, maybe? He also produces theatre things. Experimental theatre things. One Wintry Sunday night he staged a reenactment of the Spanish Civil War in Morito. Morito, in case you don’t know, has room for five small tables and not much else. Morito is the size of a hatbox. So this was a heroic folly or a magnificent feat of imagination, probably a bit of both. Either way, brilliant, don’t you think.
Morito serves small plates of the tastiest Spanish/North African food. People share them. It’s my favourite way to eat. I, of course, was by myself. It’s still a lovely way to eat. I asked Hugo for my three favourite dishes. All of them, of course, were off that day’s menu. That was how that weekend was going. I looked at the menu again and behind me Hugo was quietly asking Charlie to make the off-menu dishes for me. Charlie, the chef at the time, is a fox, btw. Woof. Hugo leaned back into me, suggested I have a glass of Apostoles, too, to make it all better. It was sweet, but not dessert-wine sweet. It was toffee-ish. I don’t know what the cockles of my heart are, exactly, but it warmed them. It’s not cheap, but you can find it in Waitrose if you’re lucky. The buzz of people not being nice all weekend began to fade away. Tension eased. I found myself smiling. Sitting here writing about that moment makes me happy all over again. It’s one of my favourite memories. People can be brilliant, sometimes. And that’s why I love Morito.
Morito, 32 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE