Who is this happy man?

Why, Italo Assogna, that’s who.  No, he doesn’t play cornet with the Pescara Hot Stompers, but he loves jazz with all his heart. 

How did we meet him? 

Italo is the manager of Pino’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant on the High Street of Lechlade in Gloucestershire, GL7 3AD, where the Beloved and I had lunch today.  I know this isn’t a food blog or a restaurant blog, but we had what Louis would call a truly dee-licious meal there.  And we met Italo’s charming fiancee, Maria, as well.

 “But this is a jazz blog!” I hear you insisting.  True enough. 

Italo loves jazz.  I knew this when I went inside the restaurant and heard a strangely familiar sound coming through the speakers — the closing instrumental choruses of PRETTY LITTLE MISSY by Signore Armstrong, followed by HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES? by the same person.  I found out that Italo had chosen the music, and we had a long chat about what kinds of jazz would be best for a restaurant (I suggested Ben Webster with strings, followed by Clifford Brown with strings; the Beloved suggested Paul Desmond; I thought of Hank Jones and Jimmy Rowles). 

But Italo and Maria were two of the most enthusiastic and charming people we have met on our UK trip, and I think they would stand out anywhere as wonderful individuals.  We will remember them — and the extraordinary food — long after we are back in New York.  And Italo loves jazz! 

Mille grazie!

3 responses to “ITALO LOVES JAZZ!

  1. John P. Cooper

    Thatsa nice!

    So what did you have to eat?

  2. The Beloved had a thin-crust pizza (apparently baked in a wood-burning oven) with the usual tomato sauce and mozzarella, toppings of goat cheese, Parma ham, and rocket (the UK name for arugula); I had short tubular pasta in an Amariciana sauce — flavored by little bits of pancetta. We both had green salads full of lively greens; powerful coffee to finish. Everything was delicious and full of flavor and both the pasta and pizza were wonderfully cooked and exceedingly hot at table. We’d found Pino’s by accident — which means getting dismayed at the places the locals sent us to — and later found out online that the three people who had given this restaurant reviews raved about it. Can you tell I like well-prepared dinner? Worth the trip, John, for sure. Cheers, Michael

  3. John P. Cooper

    These things are good to know since Jazz clubs do frequently offer food…sometimes excellent, sometimes not. Rare to find a really good one, I bet.

    Restaurants serving Jazz are even rarer!



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