There is nothing new under the sun. I am reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” set, in part, in Paris in the 1920′s, and I can’t help but mention an fun restaurant scene that takes place on Ile Saint Louis — the small island behind Notre Dame. After writing my blog posting on long lines at restaurants that had been mentioned in guidebooks, I really got a kick out of this.
Jake: “We ate dinner at Madame Lecomte’s restaurant on the far side of the island. It was crowded with Americans and we had to stand up and wait for a place. Some one had put it in the American Women’s Club list as a quaint restaurant on the Paris quais as yet untouched by Americans, so we had to wait forty-five minutes for a table. Bill had eaten at the restaurant in 1918, and right after the armistice, and Madame Lecomte made a great fuss over seeing him.
“Doesn’t’ get us a table, though,” Bill said. “Grand woman, though.”
Jake. “We had a good meal a roast chicken, new green beans, mashed potatoes, a salad, and some apple-pie and cheese.”
“You’ve got the world here all right,” Bill said to Madame Lecomte. She raise her hand, “Oh, my Gd!”
“You’ll be rich.”
“I hope so.”
After the coffee and a fine we got the bill, chalked up the same as ever on a slate, that was doubtless one of the “quaint” features, paid it, shook hands, and went out.
“You never come here any more, Monsieur Barnes,” Madame Lecomte said.
“Too many compatriots.”
“Come at lunch-time. It’s not crowded then.”
“Good. I’ll be down soon.”
I just love that.