Friday Night at Issimo
Ya got a favorite go-to spot for Friday nights? Sure you do. Me too. Friday night spots are special, without a lot of planning. Your fav spot dances into your mind; you invite a couple of friends and order some wine and noshes….hey, what else do you need? One of my favorite spots is a small Italian deli in Homburg, Issimo. You know that Italians are famous for their appreciation for family. And when you walk through the door at Issimo, you’re immediately part of the family.
What’s special about it? Glad you asked because I can tell you what makes any Friday night place special, yours and mine. Friendly staff is number one. It’s a place where the manager and wait staff call you by name and always throw smiles at you as you walk through the door. Of course, you also greet them by name!
At Issimo, we know Franco and Vecenzo, Afërdita, Sylvia, and Leonardo. How come? They’re friendly enough to invite conversation. Always smiling. The men shake my hand, the women give me hugs. It’s only about two minutes before I have a glass of wine in my hand. I don’t get that kind of welcoming service at home.
Second things that are mandatory for a fav are super food and wine. At Issimo you can count on every wine, every cheese, every olive and slice of bread being wonderfully delicious. Yes, it’s all from Italy and the staff knows what part of Italy it came from because they picked everything out and didn’t just order it from a supplier. For the wine, you tell any of them your taste and it’s as if they know your taste buds better than you do. It’s that way with the food as well. Parma ham is not just a style, it came from Parma and not just any ham from Parma. Issimo’s Parma ham is a tenderly cured and thinly shaved piece of ham that crosses the palate as a gift from the heavens.
Third requirement is atmosphere. In my case, an Italian deli should feel like Italy. Issimo is in Germany, but there’s nothing phony about it. No plastic rounds of cheese or plastic sausages hanging over the counter. Step through the door and inhale deeply. Yep, this is the place.
But, it’s like that with any fav place, right? A hamburger joint should feel comfortable and welcoming and have the smoky smell of burgers and fries. In a BBQ joint, your nose should lead you there and your clothes better smell like BBQ when you leave.
At Issimo, with the whole package of staff and food and atmosphere, this is Friday night as it should be. Great wine and cheese and ham and even better conversation. Politics? No way. This is the time to chat about books you’ve enjoyed, and places you’ve been, and places you want to go, and the fine points of where this and that wine came from.
At Issimo it’s more than a Friday night, it’s a special Friday night. Just like yours, right? Saluti!