Last night, I had dinner at Café de l’Esplanade, located across from L’Hôtel National des Invalides, where Napoleon may or may not be buried. Historical controversy being beyond the scope of this blog, let’s move right along to the supremely important subject of dinner. The setting of the Café de l’Esplanade is very plush and stimulating to the senses. Intimate clusters of candlelit tables with red velour seats harmoniously fill a satisfying symmetrical perspective. Look at the picture and you will see what I mean.

This perspective is framed on either side with columns made from historical looking pipes and a well-executed succession of arches in the ceiling. The combination of mirrors, rich fabrics, dimmed lights and soft music certainly primed my imagination. Story ideas flooded in. I’ve noted them for future reference. Among my dinner companions were two Paris celebrities. Naturally, I won’t divulge their names as I feel celebrities deserve greater privacy. They should be able to enjoy an evening on the town, incognito, like the rest of us. I will say that they were both delightful guests. Dinner was an ebullient exchange of ideas, observations and postulates about human nature, medicine and history. Celebrity Guest #1 and I were very amused when Celebrity Guest #2 explained certain persons’ surprisingly poor pragmatism and/or understanding of the crucial elements required for human procreation.

Oh, yes, the food. It was succulent. Luminosity was unfortunately insufficient for photographs, which is a shame because the presentation was lovely. My first course, “entrée” in French, was Artichaud poivrade frais avec pointes d’asperges et parmigiano reggiano: baby artichoke hearts, on a bed of tender green leaves, with asparagus tips, vinaigrette and parmesan shavings. For the main course, I had Cabillaud simplement rôti et condiment, a melt-in-your-mouth, flaky, moist, luscious cod with a hint of fire grilling marks on top, served with a creamy spicy sauce. Beyond delicious. Dessert was a fresh strawberry sorbet. As Shwartzie would say, I’ll be back.

Café de L’Esplanade, 52 rue Fabert, 75007, Paris.