Wednesday, April 26, 2006

i'd like to buy margaret a drink (and her crab cakes too)

sounds like one cool woman! i've never been to pastis but have heard good things about it. seems like this is an incentive to go some thursday.

Margaritas, Margaret's Crab Cakes Keep Her Going To Pastis At 104

Courant Staff Writer April 26 2006

Every Thursday evening around 5:30, the staff at Pastis restaurant sets the same three places at the bar, with three neatly folded cloth napkins and a brass-plated "Reserved" sign. The Cuervo 1800 and the Grand Marnier are at the ready, the cocktail shaker within reach, the margarita salt poised to circle the rim of a glass.Enter the guest of honor. It's Margaret White of Hartford, who for four years has made this visit a Thursday habit, coming with her longtime friends and next-door neighbors, John and Clara Glynn. White has lovely coiffed white hair, radiant skin, dancing blue eyes that match her dangling earrings, which also pick up the blue in her yellow-and-blue plaid jacket."Sometimes she walks up to the bar so fast, I can't keep up with her," says Debbie Rossitto, Pastis general manager.White is 104 years old.When she grew up in the city, graduating from Hartford Public High School, she recalls, "Hartford was a beautiful place. They had an opera house. You could go downtown to a show, and nobody would bother you. I remember men would go downtown to get their growler of beer. We used to walk 3 miles to work because the trolley would take too long."Her parents, who had five other children, were born in Hartford; her grandparents came from Ireland."Hello, Margaret, I'm Tracy," a bartender says to White as she shakes up her margarita."They know how to make a good one," White says.Most of the staffers know her well and come over to give her a hug or an impromptu back massage.She usually enjoys a couple of margaritas and, of course, has to have the crab cakes that bear her name on the menu - "Margaret's Favorite Seared Crab Cakes." She occasionally tops off the night with a sombrero.White still maintains a house in the city's West End, the same house where she has lived for more than 70 years. She does her own housework. On Monday, John Glynn saw her cleaning around her rose bushes. Three months every summer, she's down at her cottage in Old Lyme.Rossitto describes the beautiful floor in a floral design that White painted on her porch when she was 100. Then there were the Raggedy Ann dolls she made last Christmas from a pattern she hadn't used for 50 years............

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