La Régalade was simple, crowded, and exciting. There was a hum as you pushed open the doors—not loud, not boisterous, but joyful. I remember wriggling into my chair, the wriggle a necessity because the tables were sardined together, and thinking, This is going to be fun. And then a server came over with our menus, that pâté packed into a long terrine, a knife stuck in its center, a basket of rough-cut dark bread, and a jar of pickles. I must have looked puzzled because she—Mme Camdeborde, as it turned out—said, "Eat what you'd like." And we did. We had some wine, we smeared pâté on bread, we decided on our dinner—unforgettable scallops roasted with salted butter in their big, gorgeous shells—and we were happy. If this was bistronomy, I was all for it.