- Our Story -

It all began with an adventure.
Tonight, the adventure is yours.


Years ago, I was making a film in the former Yugoslavia along the Adriatic Coast.  When I had a couple of days off I took the ferry to Italy with no particular plans.  I rented a car and drove across Italy until I stumbled upon a rustic Mediterranean village around dinner time.  On a cobblestone street was a little restaurant with only 4 or 5 tables, but they were filled and there was even a crowd gathered around them.  Suddenly, out from the tiny kitchen burst a barrel-chested Italian man with a full black beard, wearing an apron.  He sang as he served:  "A te!  L'estremo a'dio!"


Upon seeing me with my wide, appreciative grin, he ushered me to a table that was already seated.  "You- American-o.  You-sit-ta right here.  These-a people will-a en-joy!"


I didn't question how on Earth he knew I was an American or why these people would welcome a stranger to their table, but he was correct on all counts.  Before I knew it I was being served fresh bread, calamari, spaghetti Bolognese, and red wine.  And before I knew it, I was singing everything from Italian art songs to Sinatra alongside my gracious host.


The evening went from that early dinner to lights going out in the village.  We had laughed, sang, and shared amazing stories all evening.  As the diners at my table (from Madrid) got up to leave we promised to stay in touch and Anselmo, our host, said to me: "You-a have-a no place to stay.  You sleep-a here."


I did, and as I bade farewell the next morning (after a delicious breakfast) I asked Anselmo for the bill.  Sternly, he insisted:  "No- a bill.  You sing and make-a my family happy.  Arreviderci!"


That experience is what "Figaro Figaro" is all about.  Tonight, this table is yours.  Eat, drink, be merry, and who knows...maybe we'll break out in song.  We want you to have the evening I had all those years ago.  Except, we won't ask you to spend the night...and there will be a bill !



Gary Kroeger

* * * 

419 Main Street,
Cedar Falls, IA 50613