MILANO STEAK HOUSE, 3 Auchenkilns Park, Cumbernauld, Tel:
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon at Tec Towers.
This ole Tec was mulling over the lack of spondoolies and the disappearance of one Johnny MozZarella.
The big cheese had gone to ground.
Leaving this gumshoe with a big headache and a down at heel kind of feeling.
And the only bit of action on the horizon was the approaching blonde bombshell.
Done up to the nines and no place to go.
"Tec," The Moll cooed.
"Take me away from all this, I want to feel the wind in my hair.
"Let me experience la dolce vita."
And if Toots wanted the sweet life, how could the Tec say no.
This could also be the way to kill two birds with one stone, word on the street was that Senor Mozzarella liked to cosy up to his latest squeeze at a little Italian place.
Revving up the old Buick we took the road north and headed to Cumbernauld.
It might not seem the most romantic place on earth but I'd heard it said that the Milano Steak House was not short on the essential ingredients for a great night out. The busy car park gave an inkling of the numbers inside.
Blondie was already sniffing the air as the taste bud tingling aromas wafted into the bar area.
"Ooooh Tec I feel like I'm in Italian heaven," said my little vermacelli.
And it wasn't long before her laser like peepers homed in on an unsuspecting waiter.
"A table for two signorina," said the dapper young senor.
"Oooh si, si," my blonde Venus replied.
With all this parliamo Italiano going on I was hankering after a glass of the old vino callapso.
The table we were shown to was a cosy corner shot with great view of the rest of the clientele, no-one was coming in or going out without this Tec spotting them.
Within minutes a waitress appeared, drinks were ordered and the scan was clutched in our eager hands.
With a large Merlot and a bottle of Peroni it seemed only polite to peruse the extensive menu.
The choice was vast, but I spied an early evening deal.
And not one to pass up a chance to save money and with minutes to spare before the 6.30pm deadline I reminded Blondie that she never liked to miss out on her passion for mussels - in any form.
Her cozze al vino bianco came with garlic bread and Toots almost fell into the bowl of steaming shellfish.
Deal done I opted for the funghi impanate, fresh mushrooms coated in breadcrumbs and served with mayo and salad.
The coating was crispy and the dip was tangy - justa lika mamma used to make.
With the starters quickly dispatched there was barely a pause before the mains came steaming to the table.
My little chickadee had a yearning for some white meat and she quickly found the pollo Milanese pan fried chicken with a spicy penne arrabbiata.
The crispy crumb coating was done to a turn and the pasta was spicy and plentiful. It had the desired effect of sending Blondie into a rhapsody of praise.
The dish before me was the Milano burger in a brioche bun with skinny fries served in their own metal cylinder, with an onion and tomato relish, and dished up on a rectangular plate, salad was optional.
It was a big burger, the meat was succulent and the cheese topping had just enough of a kick.
The food was cooked to perfection and hit the empty spot.
Even the Moll was thinking hard about desert - yes/no.
"Come on Toots, one scoop or two?" I asked.
"Oh Tec, make it two chocolate and one strawberry and it will be the icing the cake - bellissmo."
The ultra rich roasted coffee topped off a meal of near perfection and The Moll let out a big sigh.
"Oh Tec I don't think I've been this satisfied for a long time," she said with a twinkle in her eye.
All I can say is arrivederci Milano - until we meet again.
Funghi impanate £2
Cozze al vino bianco £2
Milanese pan fried chicken with a spicy penne arrabbiata £9.50
Milano burger in a brioche bun with skinny fries £9.50
Two ice-creams £7.90
Two glasses of Merlot £11.20