Tuesday, June 02, 2009

M. Lavigne's Negre de Toulouse

Continuing our tour of Ernest Hemingway's Paris, I'll quote from the great writer himself to set up our next destination:
I walked in the early dusk up the street and stopped outside the terrace of the Negre de Toulouse restaurant where our red and white napkins were in wooden rings in the napkin rack waiting for us to come to dinner. I read the menu mimeographed in purple ink and saw that the plat du jour was cassoulet. It made me hungry to read the name.
So wrote Hemingway in A Moveable Feast, his description of his life in Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway also mentioned the restaurant in his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, having Jake Barnes take the French prostitute Georgette Hobin to "Llavigne's," after which she comments, "It isn't chic, but the food is all right."

M. Lavigne's Le Negre de Toulouse Restaurant

Finally, at the end of WWII, Hemingway wrote in a letter, "We liberated Lipps (old man gave me a bottle of Martell) and then liberated the Negre de Toulouse."

Nowadays Hemingway would have to forgo the cassoulet and make due with pizza, since Llavigne's has morphed into an Italian spot called Restaurant Padova.



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