Charlotte Au Chocolat Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood



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.

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. 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. 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.

Charlotte Silver grew up in Cambridge, Massachussets, before attending Bennington College. She studied writing at The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and has been published in The New York Times.