by Ted Welch
Mon Aug 12th, 2013 at 05:39:31 PM EST
On a sat. night in Paris I decided to try again the lovely restaurant hidden behind what looks like an ordinary little bar in the unfashionable part of the 18th, in rue Ordener. But it was all booked up - good to see that it was still so popular though it had changed ownership since my last visit. Sadly it has also changed its name from Paris Boheme, to Fetzer - oh well, I know what its name should be.
So I decided to revisit the very nice, le Sagitaire, up the hill in rue Lamarck, which I'd discovered as I'd returned from Place du Tertre during my previous visit. Though late, it was still serving, had space and an excellent 3 course menu for about 25 euros with a small carafe of red included ! However, this time it was closed for summer.
Across rue Rustique from le Consulat:
So I continued back up to Place du Tertre - yes, I know there are too many tourists - but as Hemingway said to a young guy who complained that Pamplona was not the same as in Hemingway's early visits: "It's always there if you know how to find it." I saw that a favourite spot - outside Le Consulat, had a table, with a free table on one side, and just one guy who was not smoking and turned away listening to the guitarist on the other. So I grabbed it and luckily it stayed like that for most of the time, smoke-free and fairly quiet around me.
Though after about five minutes of relishing my luck, a party of young Americans filled the corner of rue des Saules, crowded close to our tables - and almost shouting at each other - normal American behaviour :-) Fortunately, after a few minutes their guide appeared and explained about getting to their hotel later and they all moved off - oh joy, what peace !
Rue Rustique from direction of Le Consulat - a street I'd painted as an art student long ago:
Now we could again hear the very good guitarist outside the restaurant just across the road. My serveuse was charming and attentive (who said Parisian service is bad?):
The food was fine and the number of tourists dwindled as it became dark. It was much better than my first two ideas - serendipity favours the flaneur again.
Le Consulat from rue Rustique:
"Love, Eat, Drink and Sing !!!":
Later I saw that the cover of a book on Hemingway's Paris had a pic of him and behind him, a pic of the restaurant I'd been to that night, I was sitting in this icon of Paris, just to the left, behind Ernest's head.