When I arrived for lunch at Chez La Vieille, one of the best bistros in Paris 25 years ago, the gruff but ultimately adorable chef-owner, Adrienne Biasin, guffawed and told me only a notaire (notary) would ever wear a camel's-hair coat. And to make sure I didn't miss the point, she added, "Et ils baissent mal, tous, ils baissent mal" [They don't make love well, any of them]. As she slid my plate in front of me, I observed that my lunch was almost the same color as my coat, and then I discovered it had a texture just as soft and rich. But if Biasin's blanquette de veau was way more butch than that much-loathed going-off-to-college garment from B. Altman & Co., it solaced with a warp of flavors maternal enough to make me an obedient baby—delicate veal, butter and more butter, cream and carrots. Still, there was nothing meek about it either, since the woof was pulse-pumping with frankly horny flavors, caramelized meat juices sharpened by the tastes of lemon, onion, and tarragon.