ORDERING TWO STARTERS


Last night we went to dinner with friends in Le Quartier Marais.  They drove to the apartment to pick us up and about a 30 minute drive with traffic. . We were going to a restaurant called Le Caruso at the corner of 3, Rue Turenne and Sainte Catherine.  It was such an adorable little restaurant with a very authentic Italian menu.  The products were from Italy and our friends told us that the food here was very good.

After ordering some wine, we each gave the waiter our orders.  I ordered the starter of baked eggplant and then pulled the rug out from under the waiter when I ordered another starter of minestrone soup.  He could absolutely not understand why anyone would order two starters, especially when everyone I was with ordered a starter and an entree.  No, I had to go and order two starters.  He must have asked me twenty seven times, “Madame, avant, avec ou aprés?”  Madame, before, with or after?  It took about ten minutes for him to understand bring the eggplant, then when the entrees are served bring the soup please.  He really did not want to make a mistake, he was so concerned. He even addressed the people I was with to make sure I wanted to indeed order two starters and no entree.  Perhaps he was asking them because maybe he thought I might be insane.  It was so funny really.

After a short time, we were served our starters.  The baked eggplant was really delicious.  I found myself a little anxious to see what would now happen when he returned.  Yes, I turned around and the entrees were being served and so was my bowl of soup, which was huge.   I was so happy it turned out right and it was plenty  of food for me which I thoroughly enjoyed and finished.

Everyone enjoyed their dinners right down to the cappuccino and tartlette aux pomme chaud,  (hot apple tart) the food was great.  Our friends had treated us to this dinner, which was very nice and generous.  We would definitely go back to Le Caruso.

My friend Miros thought she had lost her black beret when we parked and got out of the car.  After dinner she asked her husband to pull the car away from the curb a little so she could look under the car.  She was right, there it was.  When she got back into the car she was laughing so hard.  She said she could start a new trend in Paris, wearing a beret with a tire thread!

During the drive back to the apartment I realized how very beautiful this city is indeed.  It was very quiet, very little traffic and such a crystal clear night.  Because of the late hour, we were able to drive down the Avenue des Champs Élysées and take in the specialty shops, cinemas and the manicured chestnut trees..  We stopped at a traffic light in Trocodero and there we were right in front of the Eiffel Tower when it started twinkling, it was just midnight.  I snapped a quick photo from the car window which I have posted here.

Our friends came back to the apartment where we consumed a little more wine and some chocolates.  We sat around laughing and talking until about 1:00 am.  They wanted to me to skype our daughter so they could say hello and maybe get to see our granddaughter.  With the six hour time difference, we figured we would give it a try.  We were lucky to have caught her at a good time and we were all able to talk and see each other including the baby.  We had such a very nice evening.

Miros was a judge on the television show here in France, the French version of American Idol.  She is a very talented and beloved singer and voice coach.  When she recently went to Guatemala and agreed to have several concerts there, the tickets were immediately sold out.

Now, you are in the know, do not order two starters in Paris.

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