It was about time we did something different so I booked a table for two at La Fonteine. I sent a text to my dinner date confirming arrangements and she asked what the dress code was. I said “chic grunge”. Then, thinking about the 5 stars that Meikle’s is meant to have, I swiftly sent another text; “more chic than tat.” She turned up in impressive high heels, silver and shimmery. She got taller, I felt shorter. Thank God they were hard to walk in because they were soon ditched for sneakers. On our way to dinner I asked her how long since she’d been into the city at night. HIFA she said. We had a pre dinner drink in the Can Can Bar. The cocktail list is extensive and in a voice infused with doubt, I asked Wellington, the barman, whether he could make All the cocktails so temptingly advertised. In our very Zimbabwean way he said yes but not all. I played it safe and asked for a Cosmopolitan. At the Can Can it’s made with apple juice instead of cranberry juice. It took Wellington a full five minutes to convince me that This Would Be OK; in fact it’s even better than the usual way he said. And it was. I ended up having three. My date settled on an Old Fashioned. She winced when she had her first sip. I told Wellington that this was a good sign. She had two. I sat back and listened to some poetry that materialised out of my companion’s back pocket. She shared a poem by Barbara Ras; you can’t have it all, but there is this. Dinner menus were brought to us at the bar. There was a choice between a set menu or a la carte. Luke, one of the most gracious waiters I’ve ever met, said it would be fine to have a starter from one menu and a main from the other. Flexible restaurants rock! The starters we chose; mushroom soup and salmon pate with prawn toast, were faultless. We both chose the same main course, slow cooked lamb with an aubergine sauce. Again, the food was fabulous. The only down side was the insipid crème brule and the very weak and uninspired cappuccinos. The Can Can Bar and La Fonteine are well worth a visit. Compared with other restaurants in Harare its way ahead of the game and a visit won’t break the bank. You’ll also experience the best service in town. And if you’re worried about the safety of your car, you get free parking in the Meikles Hotel guarded car park. I’ll be back sooner rather than later especially if the pianist adds Fly Me To The Moon to his repertoire.