One of the great things about my summer job is the chance to spend time with real Parisians who let me in on their secret places. Yesterday, one of those wonderful people took me to the Polidor restaurant (41, rue Monsieur le Prince), only a few minutes from where I work near the Jardin du Luxembourg. The restaurant was founded in 1845 and it appears that nothing has changed since then! The multi-colored tile floor is worn and uneven, as though there are small dunes beneath it. There are little lockers at the back of the first room for the serviettes of regular (sometimes daily) clients. The red-checked cloths on the tables were probably not made of paper in the original days, but that’s a mere detail.
The food was great too. I had salmon with basil for my mail course and a Bavarois au cassis (Blackcurrant mousse) for dessert. I can’t begin to tell you how delicious that was; it had a balance of tart and sweet that made my mouth sing. I wanted to lick the plate, but thought the seismic shock might bring the Polidor down. That would definitely be a shame. It has been the haunt of literati, such as Arthur Rimbaud and Hemingway, and glitterati, such as Woody Allen, who recently filmed part of Midnight in Paris at the Polidor.
Today’s expression, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (ploo sah shanj, ploo seh lah mem shows), means “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” That’s the impression I had at the Polidor, like I was in a lovely time capsule. I know I’ll be back as often as I can for more of that Bavarois au cassis!