Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood

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Riverhead Books, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 258 pages
33 Reviews

Like Eloise growing up in the Plaza Hotel, Charlotte Silver grew up in her mother's restaurant. Located in Harvard Square, Upstairs at the Pudding was a confection of pink linen tablecloths and twinkling chandeliers, a decadent backdrop for childhood. Over dinners of foie gras and Dover sole, always served with a Shirley Temple, Charlotte kept company with a rotating cast of eccentric staff members. After dinner, in her frilly party dress, she often caught a nap under the bar until closing time. Her one constant was her glamorous, indomitable mother, nicknamed "Patton in Pumps," a wasp-waisted woman in cocktail dress and stilettos who shouldered the burden of raising a family and running a kitchen. Charlotte's unconventional upbringing takes its toll, and as she grows up she wishes her increasingly busy mother were more of a presence in her life. But when the restaurant-forever teetering on the brink of financial collapse-looks as if it may finally be closing, Charlotte comes to realize the sacrifices her mother has made to keep the family and restaurant afloat and gains a new appreciation of the world her mother has built.

Infectious, charming, and at times wistful, Charlotte au Chocolat is a celebration of the magic of a beautiful presentation and the virtues of good manners, as well as a loving tribute to the author's mother-a woman who always showed her best face to the world.

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Review: Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood

User Review  - Vikki VanSickle - Goodreads

A decadent and charming slice of an unusual life. Charlotte had an unusual childhood full of foie gras, glamour, party dresses, and poverty at her mother's restaurant Upstairs at the Pudding in Boston ... Read full review

Review: Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood

User Review  - Ann - Goodreads

Charlotte Silver grew up in the restaurant run by her parents, and later by her mother and her mother's business partner. The restaurant, Upstairs at the Pudding, was well-known in Boston in the 80s ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Charlotte Silver grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before attending Bennington College in Vermont. She studied writing at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and has been published in The New York Times. She lives in New York and Boston.

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