We expected to pass out any minute from jet lag, so we had dinner in the neighborhood. Our friend took us to a restaurant called L’été en pente douce. Meaning “Summer on a gentle slope”—slope, as in the side of the hill, which requires climbing these stairs. (A second flight of stairs takes you to the basilica of Sacre Coeur. A week or so of this and we should have quads of steel.)
The restaurant serves a very good quiche, which is a meal in itself. We had champagne, this being our welcome dinner. A glass of champagne is only slightly costlier than 6 ounces of Coke. Around here Coke is more expensive than the house wine, so have the wine.
Even before the quiche arrived, we were royally entertained by the menu, in French and English versions.
According to various translation apps, the title means “the pot-gossip of summer” or “the pewter-pot summer”, but according to a native it could also be interpreted as “the ass of summer”.
The translations, though perhaps overly literal, sound very grand. The French menu even asks: “Do you have an emptiness?” Why do restaurants back home never ask us existential questions?
Who could resist “a dry wine, so very dry for a muscat that it causes raised eyebrows among wine connoisseurs”?
We were so fascinated by the menu that we had to ask for a copy. The waiter feigned hurt and said, “If you’re just going to laugh at it…” but we assured him that it was the laughter of genuine admiration. The menu doesn’t just offer specials, it proposes them. (“We are the only restaurant to offer this” becomes “We are the unique restaurant to propose this.”)
Outside, a cat waited to be served.