D’Artagnan Goes Out to Dinner

You know I’m reading The  Three Musketeers this summer, right?  I’m about halfway through.

It’s good!  And there are some funny almost-laugh-out-loud parts.  Almost.

To brush up, there’s the hero, D’Artagnan from Gascony– and he goes to Paris to make his way in life—-and eventually teams up with the King’s Musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis.  They each have their own little personalities and quirks.

In one of their “sallies” they go to London to deliver a romantic secret note (from the queen of France!) to the Duke of Buckingham in London.  And along the way,  they stop at roadside inns to eat and stable their horses, etc.

Our family went out to dinner last night and I was musing how it would have been if D’Artagnan and the boys had gone instead.

First they would ride their steeds through town, and down West State Street’s “Restaurant Row” to decide which one looked best for dinner.  Having decided on Pagioci’s, they would begin the search for parking to stable their horses . . .  ah, problem solved, and only three blocks from Pagioci’s.

“Where do you want to eat–inside or outside?” asks D’Artagnan.

“Outside—the patio looks nice, ” says Athos, “Look! there’s a stone fountain!”

“Yes, but it’s in the nineties today—let’s eat inside,” says Porthos.

“No, it’s cool under this lovely spreading wisteria vine—and there’s a breeze–let’s eat on the patio, OK?” says Athos.

patio at Pagioci’s©booksandbuttons

“What table to you want?”
“Over here– we can see the fountain and people walking by, too”.

“The tables are so tiny!” objects D’Artagnan.  “Let’s eat inside where the tables are bigger.”

But Athos complains, “Let’s eat outside—you can eat indoors in the winter.”

“The tables are so tiny—we can’t all fit,” states D’Artagnan.

“Look,” says Aramis, the Musketeer who wants to become an abbé, and is the peacemaker, “There are large tables up there, for two, on the little landing.  You and I can eat there, D’Art.”

It seems like a workable plan, but D’Artagnan objects, “No, then we can’t all talk together.  I’ll eat with you at the little tables.”

Anyway, they all sit down after a fashion of changing around the seating a time or two.

The menus come and the four swordsmen are engrossed in the complicated offerings of specials, classics, and three Italian specialties for each day of the week.

“What day is it?  Friday.” muses Aramis.

There is silence, complete silence while they mull the possibilities.

“I’ve never liked eggplant, ” says Athos, “I don’t see the point.  It’s tasteless.”

“Like avocado, ” says Porthos.

“No, I like avocado, ” argues D’Artnagnan—“but only with tacos.”

“Tacos haven’t been invented yet,” Athos points out.

They order and hand the waiter their menus.

After a few minutes, D’Artnagnan flags down a waiter and asks for a menu back.
“I want to read what the specials were for the other days of the week,” he says.

“Read them aloud and we’ll vote!” suggests Aramis.

A group of eight fills the table next to them and one begins to talk about strategies in playing bridge.

“B-o-r-i-n-g!” mouths Porthos and they guffaw.

“OK,” begins D’Artagnan, “Monday: Raviolini di Tortellini–which is spinach mortadella, fresh mozzarella and parmigiano.  Second, Pappardella con Bieta Rossa–which is red beets, cream and parmiagiano.  (silence)  Third, Malagliate Pasta Cipriani–which is artichoke hearts and parmigiano.”

“Nah–where’s the meat?” asks Porthos.

A waiter comes to the table and offers hot baked bread.  “Yes” they answer enthusiastically.  (And the bread basket is filled three more times during the evening  . . . )

“Tuesday”, continues D’Artagnan, “Nidi di rondine–which is a nest filled with bechamel, spinach and ham . . .”

And so it would have gone . . . pretty similar to our own little family dinner party.
But since it was First Friday in town, with live bands and milling restless crowds,  perhaps there would have been a bit of swordplay before the Musketeers left town to continue on their way to London.

patio at Pagioci’s ©booksandbuttons

patio at Pagioci’s©booksandbuttons

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