Just recently I had dinner with my old friend, Margaret Hanson, a retired psychiatrist in whose guesthouse I had lived during my two post graduate years at Stanford University. Although nearly 80 years old, she still had it together and always proved delightful company. I made a reservation at Le Pot Au Feu in Menlo Park, one of her favorite restaurants, now in its third incarnation: mother to son to grandson.
I picked Margaret up at 7:00 p.m., and fifteen minutes later I gave my car keys to the parking valet. As we entered the restaurant, a handsome young man took Margaret’s hand and kissed it.
“Good evening Mrs. Hanson. Grandmother sends her greetings.”
“Good evening Charles.”
The young man immediately seated us at the celebrity table, next to a door-sized window overlooking the beautiful, lighted back garden, a position that Margaret and her husband, Hans, had gradually earned over their almost 30 years of patronage prior to his death.
The restaurant still served classic French cuisine, steadfastly refusing to adopt the current, California healthy/French style of preparation that used reduced butter and cream.