Sunday, July 11, 2010


Always a perfect evening. A noir paradise. Justine's: the best little French brasserie between here and Paris... l'Enfant Terrible - my preferred cocktail, haricots verts and steak every evening 'til very late, except Tuesdays. The fare is simple and authentic. The vintage vinyl is unsurpassed. The wine list is well-edited. The walls are dark, the small marble tables and Thonet-like chairs were brought in from France. Pierre, Justine and baby Jude Lightening are the consummate hosts. The mix of people - old friends, new acquaintances: a table outside filled with a celebration for a couple who came from Paris to be married in Austin, girls from Belgium who I met earlier in the week at my shop, our hosts from Pecha Kucha night earlier in the year, guys from the neighborhood who'll be back for their late reservation. We arrive early and stay late with our friends, John &, food, conversation, ambiance.

photo: Lisa Dean

And then for the special evenings...for Halloween: a jazz, goth, eerie selection played as the serveuses in their sharpened teeth, bodices, and paniers served dinner through the mist...blood orange martinis, an ambiance inoubliable...For Valentine's evening: a girl overhead on a swing, corsets, fishnets and the Marquis de Sade. The couple next to us from Houston asked, "We hear there will be naked men in chains and leather...?". And this week: le 14 juillet...le Jour de la Bastille. Tri-color costumes, a guillotine, and who knows what else.

photo: Lisa Dean

Justine's, it's a family, it's a 'scene' in the best sense of the word. It's an environment created to feel the powers, the sensation and souvenir of France...I would say, "Don't miss it" but then again, sometimes we want to keep the secret all to ourselves.

sign by Evan Voyles, The Neon Jungle

No comments:

Post a Comment