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Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 16, 2012
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“Every paragraph here is a confection of wit, color, texture, and taste, all overlaid with a dusting of melancholy for a lost restaurant, a lost time, a childhood that set Charlotte Silver apart and inspired her to write this utterly captivating memoir.”—The Huffington Post
“Silver illustrates the details of her upbringing with luminous clarity
. . . these poignant moments are as exact as poetry.”—The Boston Globe
"Bright and vivacious."—USA Today
"Child of artist-restauranteurs, Silver recalls a girlhood filled with pink linens, candied violets, and constant threat of financial ruin. But it’s her ode to her quirky, dazzling mom that makes the dish."—Good Housekeeping
"Charlotte Silver has written a love song to a remarkable restaurant and a vanished world. I devoured these pages with the same enthusiasm as the author brings to pheasant’s legs and steak tartare on toast."—Margot Livesey, author of Eva Moves the Furniture
"Reading Charlotte au Chocolat is like sitting down to a sumptuous, many-coursed dinner--and then, after taking your last bite of Queen Mother's cake, having the pleasure of lingering in the kitchen, where a cast of vivid characters conjures culinary magic until closing time. A feast of a book!"—Allison Hoover Bartlett, author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
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Top customer reviews
As I read the book, I wished that I had been to Upstairs at the Pudding. Somehow we missed it - we spent ten years in Boston, looking for good eats, but as poor college students. Alas. The memoir balances both magic and realness - real people set in a magical ambiance.
While I enjoyed the book (4 stars for enjoyment), I only rated 3 stars as I felt like this book was missing something. It feels rushed, prematurely ended, poorly edited. The flow felt a bit jumpy, unconnected at times. Given such history and characters, I would've loved to learn more about life after the Pudding in the Epilogue. And the smoked pheasant and roquefort appetizer is mentioned at least three times as if the reader hadn't already been told that it was her favorite.
If you're looking for a quick read, have a love of food and memoirs, and appreciate the workings and personalities inside a restaurant - this is ok - not great but not bad either. I just think Ruth Reichl's memoirs and Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones, and Butter are more complete, better edited. But I definitely will give Charlotte Silver kudos for creating a sense of magic amidst real people. Just wished that more time had been spent in making it feel complete!