Friday, April 28, 2006
Q: What do you get when you mix a tween, a second-grader and an infant with a chichi French restaurant on Easter Sunday?
“Throwing caution to the wind” is an understatement.
Perhaps it was the frantic egg-dyeing session at 3 a.m. on Easter morning that scrambled my brain into believing that L’Auberge would be a good choice for family dining. Like Friendly’s only quieter, and a wee bit pricier. Sans the crayon-friendly menu, of course.
We usually head for a loud, crowded brunch on Easter, but with our tax refund burning a hole in our collective pocket, we pulled out all the stops.
My husband and I have enjoyed a few special outings to C’est Tout but had yet to savor the L’Auberge Experience. We rarely eat out, so this was going to be a real treat.
Anyhoo, off we go in our Sunday best, with Rocco untucked, Jean a vision in green and baby Dominic in a mini-argyle vest looking very country club.
We kept the kids in tight “best behavior” formation throughout lunch, reminding sis not to finger the ice in her water goblet (J: “Look! I’m jumping from iceberg to iceberg!”), and discouraging Roc from stuffing an entire dinner roll into his mouth. But at the same time we managed to stay loose enough to enjoy the ambience, critiqued the ritzy decor with the kids (R: “That looks like a sculpture. Wait, it is a sculpture!”), even got Rocco to try the lamb.
Baby was awake and alert the whole time but didn’t make a peep. What a relief!
Rocco was somewhat disappointed that we had him order the “young connoisseurs” lunch of chicken fingers and fries (a whopping $12.50). He loved my Thai shrimp and talked me out of half of it. But $39.50 (the price of the three-course “old connoisseurs” lunch) is just too much to waste on such an unrefined palate.
We even splurged for the fancy $8 desserts (not included in the youth menu). And we happily scarfed it down, mango-papaya slaw and all.
The best part came as we headed out of the restaurant. Across the parking lot toward us came a refined lady who had been seated near our table. She said, “Excuse me …” I thought, “Oh, no! She’s going to berate us for bringing -sniff!- children to such a place and ruining her lunch!”
Instead, she proceeded to profusely compliment us on how well-behaved the kids were. “You ought to teach a class on manners,” she gushed.
I savor that moment above every morsel I’ve ever nibbled upon. Bon Appetit!