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Lavinia – Yes, the wine sold here is expensive. But the arrangement whereby one can purchase a bottle from shop and bring it upstairs to the in-store restaurant, sans corkage, makes it well worth a visit. And today, it’s also a convenient meeting point for lunch with a long-time friend who works in Paris.

Lavinia’s slick little lunch joint is, as usual, filled with suited types having a professional nosh…the time for which has quite obviously contracted given the alacrity with which most eat. Worse, nearly everyone eschews wine, though an occasional brave soul takes a small glass. What is France coming to? My friend – who works for the government and thus can enjoy all the wine he wants, and on a leisurely schedule – joins me, pointing out some famous French TV personality that I’ve never heard of (if it’s not Melissa Theuriau, I’m not interested). We sit down to a fine, simple meal of beef cheeks, potatoes, an excellent Tomme de Savoie, and fair coffee; it’s no bargain, but once again the wine makes it all worth it.



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