Hillary and Bill Dine With
Bernadette and Jacques

photo: resto aelito lindo

This is not L'Ami Pierre; this is somebody else's friend.

News from the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 19. June 1999:- At the moment, the biggest problem with this magazine's 'Club' in Paris is that it is mythical. The same cannot be said for President Jacques Chirac's 'Club,' which is either all of Paris, all of France, or all of everything including the offshore territories, islands and ships at sea.

This state of affairs is perfectly natural. I saw Jacques Chirac at his inauguration ceremony, as President of France, at the Arc de Triomphe in 1995. I did not run for this office, I was not elected to it; so it is perfectly natural that I will be playing 'catch-up' with the Café Metropole Club.

Since it is still mythical - and there is no 'news' this week - I may as well tell you who Jacques had at his 'Club' during the week. This may give you an idea of the possible caliber of some of our members-to-be.

Last Wednesday, Jacques and Bernadette hosted American visitors Bill and Hillary at his club - which, for the evening - was the famous Paris restaurant, 'L'Ami Louis' in the 3rd arrondissement. For some unknown reason, this was reported as 'Political News' in Wednesday's Le Parisien, which placed the location of the restaurant in Les Halles, which is close but in another quartier all the same.

This minor error was corrected in Thursday's editions, which also reported that the 'Club' aspect may have been, in fact, directed by Claude Chirac, who was also reported to have 'intrigued' or 'pulled-wires' to get the reservation for the two couples, with only ten days' advance notice.

The patron of the restaurant L'Ami Louis, Louis Gadby, said that France's President had not frequented the restaurant since he moved to the Elysée Palace, but he had been a regular customer before, while President of the RPR and mayor of Paris.

On Wednesday evening, three of the diners ordered the copious 'cassolette de girolles' at the restaurant which first opened in 1926. With its decor virtually unchanged, it is also rumored to have been a clandestine restaurant during the second World War. Today its dishes are considered wonderful - 'mirobolants' - as are its additions; reportedly making it one of the most expensive bistros in the world.

This has not deterred Gorbachev from dining at L'Ami Louis with Jean-Baptiste Doumeng, one of France's celebrated 'Red' millionaires. Hollywood stars are also among its customers, although they take the diet plates; as well as the mayors of Chicago and San Francisco, who probably don't.

A 'Club' photo of Hillary and Bill, Bernadette and Jacques, which appeared in Thursday's editions shows a happy foursome in front of the mis-located restaurant.

On Thursday Bill took some time off to buy a terra-cotta frog from a boutique on the Ile Saint-Louis, some jam and a bottle of olive oil. While there with the official block-long limo stacking up traffic on the island and surrounding arrondissements, he also had time for a double-cone of strawberry ice cream. Just like any 'Monsieur Tout-le-Monde.'

In case you are interested in this bistro, which is not a candidate as a location for our own 'Club,' it is L'Ami Louis, 32. Rue du Vertbois, Paris 3. Métro: Temple or Arts et Métiers. A la carte, about 800 francs. Closed Mondays, and from mid-July to the third week in August. Info. Tel.: 01 48 87 77 48.

Although it is very close to Paris' first or second oldest house in the Rue Volta, I have no photograph of L'Ami Louis; so you'll just have to do with whatever is here instead.
signature, regards, ric

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