We hadn’t actually wanted the bread pudding. What we really, really wanted was to get the hell out of M Vie. The jazz combo had started playing again. It was loud. My dining companion was telling me a story. I had moved around the table to be closer to her so I could hear. We were sitting less than a foot from each other. There were still times I had to resort to lip-reading.

There are no windows in M Vie and just one tiny door. Outside, it was a glorious summer evening. Inside, the jazz reverberated off the wood paneling where the window should have been. We were trapped.

And then, in the middle of our main course, the jazz combo broke for dinner. Such bliss! Of course, it was still loud because it’s a small space and there were a lot of people in it and they were talking, but we could finally hear things besides some noodling through “My Girl.” It didn’t matter that her salmon was dry except in the middle and my pork chop was dry all the way through. (OK, it did.) The assault had ended!