It’s lunchtime at a busy neighbourhood bistro in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. A pair of young male servers are gliding through the restaurant, juggling plates groaning with roast chicken and frites, duck confit and beef tartare, and sliding them across the tables to their customers in swift but graceful movements.Sitting in the corner of the bar, a lone man has ordered a cheese plate, a green salad and a glass of red wine, and is consumed by his newspaper. It’s not long before a tall, middle-aged man enters the restaurant, calls out ‘Georges’, shakes his hand with a hearty one-two pump and takes the seat next to him. It’s immediately apparent that Georges’ friend is the kind of bar fixture who has the gift of banter.
The bistro bar is a place of exchange, of conversation, a way of life
“When are you going to take my order?” he teases the bartender in an accusatory tone.
“Huh la la la la,” she replies, her four “las” uttered in quick succession. “Always the same. You haven’t changed.”
She would know. Marie-Claude Lainey has been serving Serge Jovanovic his lunch for the last 15 years.
Jovanovic and Georges Cano have also been eating their lunches together over the last 15 years. In the same bistro. At the same time. Nearly every day.
Continue reading at BBC: BBC – Travel – Is the iconic Parisian bistro dying?