We ate at the Petit Machon for dinner, a restaurant highly recommended by our landlord Serge. In fact, on a trot home from the Louvre one day, we saw Serge and his companion eating at Le Machon's sidewalk table. We knew someone in Paris!
Le Petit Machon's menu was replete with French favorites: tripe (tongue), beef brains, tar tar (raw hamburger), sausage brioche; only one item stood out and sold me on a visit: Le grand assiette de vegetables. The big plate of vegetables. I would be safe.
It was beautiful. The tastes were splendid.
After the first bite, I dug in with vigor.
"Why didn't you take a photo?" Tony asked.
"Because no one cares about vegetables in France."
Perhaps I was wrong, because I wish I'd taken a photo. Creamed potatoes, squigly mushrooms, sweet potato rounds with an onion-tomatoe tapenade, zucchini and tomatoes, slivered carrots, a floret of broccoli, a petite bite of roasted turnip--all with their individual and amazing tastes.
But what gave this restaurant its flavor was the impetuous waiter. We were his first table of the evening and found him charming if not rather anxious. As the tables filled we saw his explanations speed up and his whirling hands whirl faster. When the table next to us, a couple with heavy British accents, ordered the first item on the menu, he said, "No, you wouldn't like it." When the woman questioned him, he entered a diatribe of previous patrons who were unhappy with the dish and he knew she would be too. He would not allow her to order what she wanted!
As the evening at Le Petit Machon came to an end, Tony called the waiter over for a few explanations on the dessert menu. As always, Tony asked his waiter what his favorite dessert was; but his charm and credibility having been greatly diminished, his recommendation went unheeded: glazed prunes.