1970: Brela, on the Adriatic coast of what is now Croatia. That’s me on the right, Darryl Hart on the left and Abby Grosvenor in the middle.

There’s a lot of history packed in this picture. Darryl and I met in 1962 at law school in Berkeley. We shared a house with some other law student friends briefly, and often played guitars together though he was much better than I was. His rendition of the Theme from Black Orpheus was famous for bringing the sun up on Scenic Avenue in those days. We graduated together in 1965; worked at Loeb & Loeb together in Los Angeles; and quit L&L at the same time in 1967. He went to Washington DC to work on the staff of California Senator Thomas Kuchel and I went to NY to work for Pan Am. In 1970 I was on medical leave from Pan Am so Abby and I went to Europe. Darryl was between jobs so he joined us there for a couple of months. We drove and camped in our VW bus from Paris to St. Tropez to Brela and on up to Vienna where he left us for awhile. He rejoined us for Christmas/New Year at our rented house in St.Tropez and then he headed home. On the flight home he met Martha, his wife to be, and they have been married 40+ years now.

We don’t get to see much of each other these days, but last night he was in Seattle for some American Bar Association meetings and M and I met him for dinner at Loulay. I love catching up with him whenever we have a chance. Our lives have been so different but our friendship has endured for more than 50 years.

Loulay was an inspired choice for dinner. It’s the successor to Chef Thierry Rautureau’s iconic Rover’s, which closed in 2012. Thierry IS “The Chef in the Hat,” and we love The Chef in the Hat.

Chef in the Hat

He’s a smart, charming, talented man who has been a major figure on the Seattle restaurant scene since 1987. That year on a visit to Seattle he discovered, while dining at Rover’s, that the small home-like restaurant in Madison Valley was for sale. He purchased it and the rest is history. Rover’s was the nationally acclaimed home of The Chef in the Hat and for many years it was the benchmark location for innovative Northwest cuisine with a French twist.

Rover’s closed in 2012 but not before Thierry had launched the next phase of his culinary career – Luc – a French bistro named for his father and – Loulay – a larger French restaurant named for the small town near the Loire Valley where he grew up. Both are booming successes thanks to the quality of the food, the service, and the personality of The Chef in the Hat.

M and I have a special connection and affection for the Chef in the Hat. When we decided to get married, after ten years together, we were living in Saigon. A friend who worked for the US Consulate in Saigon told us the red tape for getting married at the Consulate was onerous. He told us to go home and get a judge to do it. So that’s what we did, but we added a twist to it.

We asked M’s Seattle assistant, Beth, to find a judge in Bellevue and arrange a time late on a Friday afternoon for the formalities. It had to be Friday because Rover’s served lunch on Friday (and only on Friday). So, on the day we got married we had a champagne lunch at Rover’s and then drove to Bellevue with Beth and her husband. The judge, Janet Garrow, is a lovely woman. She made sure we knew what we were doing, read us our rights, and we drove home.

The wedding day lunch is only one of the reasons we have such affection for The Chef in the Hat and his food. His wife Kathy is equally charming. A year later lunch we were able to have our first anniversary at Rover’s, but alas it’s closed now. Nevertheless, we still have Luc and Loulay to choose from.

Over dinner Darryl and I reminisced while M took in all this information about our friendship. We talked about St Tropez, Berkeley, Brela, and a fishing trip we took 16 years ago to the Green River in Utah. He fished while I read on the bank, except for the day we floated the river with a guide in a drift boat. Darryl says that was his best fishing day ever. I had fun too. It’s part of our bond.

Another 1970 photo: This one was taken just outside of Avignon. Wow! I had a lot of hair in those days.


Eagle – It was great to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

More tomorrow…

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