Armand and Reine Marie Gamache, in All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny published earlier this year, have a special relationship with Juveniles, a bar à vins, they visited for the first time 35 years ago when they became engaged in Paris.
As they have many times before, they return to the restaurant, still owned by the same family. They sit at their “regular long table by the wooden bar”. A carafe of their favourite red wine is upon the table and:
Warm baguettes were placed on cutting boards on the table, with a terrine de campagne, a whipped butter, and small bowls of olives.
Margaux, who first served them as a serious five year old, takes care of the Gamaches.
Sharon and I have a relationship with Murray’s Restaurant in Minneapolis that extends back 41 years to 1979 when we visited Minneapolis on our honeymoon. Where Armand and Reine Marie had run into Juveniles because of an “unexpected downpour” we had looked for a restaurant where we hoped to have a special meal to celebrate our time in the city.
Murray’s was a wonderful decision. Always elegant, at that time already open for 33 years, it had the feel of the late 1940’s.
We shared the Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two, a sirloin roast perfectly cooked.
We have returned to Murray’s each time we have been back to Minneapolis and have never been disappointed.
Servers spend decades at the restaurant. On our last visit our server advised us she had been serving at Murray’s for 35 years.
Each visit takes us back to that time when we were just starting our lives together.
New restaurant relationships are made throughout life.
In the Gamache series Armand and Reine Marie love going to the bistro in Three Pines owned by Gabri and Olivier.
Whether for a fine meal or just a croissant they enjoy sitting near the fireplace.
Their hosts know them well.
In Melfort Sharon and I have been developing a relationship with RJ’s Urban Garden Cafe in recent years.
Set in an old building, lovingly restored, Raianne has created an inviting restaurant to which we make frequent visits.
Their chippers, homemade potato chips with chipotle dip, are a part of every meal we have there. They are usually ordered when we sit down.
Dakota and other servers start writing down a Pepsi before I speak as they take our drink orders.
This past summer a lovely deck was added. Upon the deck now stands a work of art, a weeping willow tree, sculpted by Rob Jüng’s MetalArt of Melfort. Raianne told us it is their family tree and a sign of their resiliance during the challenges of life that come to all of us.
On her Facebook page she stated:
“The willow tree gives us hope, a sense of belonging, and safety. Furthermore, the ability to let go of the pain and suffering to grow new, strong and bold.
The image of the willow tree is our path to stability, hope and healing” - unknown
The sacred willow reminding us to bend and not break.
Sharon and I have enjoyed many restaurants around the world. We are very glad to have personal relationships with Murray’s and the Urban Garden.