A Dog’s Life at Davé

Let me tell you, there are some places in Paris better seen from under the table. Take Davé for instance. This is a very chic Chinese restaurant that is by no means a dump—very cute, with lacquered red walls and pictures of celebrities and even a fish tank. But the smoke? Oh-la-la. It’s better under the table. Normally Davé is the restaurant of choice for Sunday evenings: partly because so many places are closed on Sundays and frankly, if it’s Sunday and you are American, well, it means Chinese, doesn’t it? Davé himself comes from Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, French and English fluently. But his mother tongue is fashion, ma chère, this is the place that is so “in” that it’s almost a private club. (To get a table, tell Davé I sent you.) Sunday nights are always full, and half of the place goes to the regulars. So, I was invited by Paul, one of the Sunday regulars and an American expat. Paul is a good guy to be invited by because he brings along my friend Jicky—a shih tzui—and Jicky’s new baby brother, Joop—who is named for the Dutch designer, even if his name is pronounced as if you were saying “skirt” (jupe in French). Go figure. Jicky and Paul have been regulars for so long that the boys are allowed free run of the place and the food just comes automatically… no menu. Newspaper is laid on the floor, and a platter of spareribs arrives as the appetizer. Spareribs do make you thirsty, so water is served shortly thereafter—in separate bowls for each of us, so there are no dog-fights. The people at the table also got spareribs, as well as nem, dumplings wrapped in lettuce with fresh mint, and baskets of dim sum. (If it’s Sunday it must be dim sum.) Other dishes served included Davé ‘s famous lemon chicken—with sauce on the side so doggies can nibble too—sliced duck with pancakes and scallions, fried rice, sautéed shrimps and a green leafy vegetable, steamed and marinated in garlic sauce. Dinner for two, without drinks, about 60 euros. Davé 12 rue Richelieu, 1er Tel: Copyright Suzy Gershman
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