I'd walked past a number of times and never even noticed the door.
This time we entered and took the steps that led down.
Our little gang took a corner table and the maître d' settled us returning later to explain the menu. He recognised the others and was suitably pleasant as if he also knew me. They'd been working in this area for a while and already determined this as a favourite venue, whereas this would be my first experience.
We selected from the small menu and a choice of wine, suitably decanted then bursting with a richness and fruit.
We'd been working in a hotel room across town prior to this excursion and had prepared the usual charts and diagrams of commerce. Now was a chance to chatter before tomorrow's Big Meeting.
The food was perfectly cooked. The wine sublime. Our small group enjoyed a special magic in this tiny location, which for an off-peak day was still busy at each of its small number of tables.
Much later we climbed the stairs back to what was now a rainy street, with a few taxis waiting across the road to ferry us back to our waiting files and presentations.