Off the shelf…”Charlotte au Chocolat”

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I finished this book a while ago and just saw it on my Kindle when I reloaded my iPad.
Set in the tony and trendy “Upstairs at the Pudding” during its heyday in the 80’s and 90’s, Charlotte au Chocolat is the memoir of the owner’sdaughter and her childhood dressing for dinner and sipping Shirley Temples and sleeping in the velvet covered booths. “Upstairs” was so named because it was located above the Hasty Pudding Club in Harvard Square. As the location warrants, it’s tables were full of socialites and celebrities who paid scant attention to the petticoated child nibbling on her dinner and doing homework.
The memoir is mostly upbeat despite the fact that the restaurant is on the edge of financial ruin on more than one occasion, but tinges of sadness are evident and the reader can’t help but feel sorry for young Charlotte.
This is a quick read and like the iconic Eloise, who lives at the Plaza, you will be able to glimpse the behind the scenes trials and triumphs of the service industry. There’s also the full cast of characters that frequent the restaurant and the descriptions of food are first rate. Good for an after Thanksgiving read, once the dishes are done and you are waiting for Black Friday sales!


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