Eating Out

TPittari'sRestaurant.NO.1960s

The one family event that I’ve boasted about the most was going to T. Pittari’s Restaurant on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether Dad received this dinner as a gift from work, I never knew. My memory of T. Pittari’s is based on Dad wanting his children to know how to behave in a fine restaurant. As a treat for all four of us children, Dad and Mother made reservations. The host seated us in front of elaborate table settings, including etched glassware. Before we ordered Dad had arranged to have the waiter explain the silverware and the order in which we were to use them. The waiter gave some brief instructions about proper etiquette and had us place the napkins in our laps. He also told us that it was not proper to gaze around the room and look at the other patrons. That may explain why my memory has us seated off to ourselves, like in a separate room (probably not true to facts). T. Pittari’s is no longer in operation, but its fame lingers because of the gourmet dishes of game, live lobsters kept in a tank, and the high prices. One report noted prices as “unreasonably expensive.” Because of this experience I have never been embarrassed at any formal dinner. I’m grateful to our parents for this valuable lesson and thankful to T. Pittari’s staff for allowing it to happen. ~ Ann

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