Our Mother’s Day dinner in Montmartre began with another wind-sucking climb up the hillside. One look at our dining destination instantly healed any pains. La Taverne de Montmartre is a postcard rustic French cafe highly regarded for its classic bistro dishes. We opted to eat outside at the end of a sunny day and watched passersby snap pictures as they strolled by. It has to be one of the most photographed restaurants in Paris, which is saying something in this city.

We were greeted by two very cute sisters who decided they liked us and sat at our feet during the entire meal. Their names were Moon and Maya, the Taverne’s mellow resident Shibas (a breed of Japanese hunting dogs) who had many admirers. Some stopped to give them a pet, while their 4-legged pals from the neighborhood sniffed and playfully danced around them. Over the course of the evening, we posed for several pictures shot by tourists who assumed the dogs were ours.

The specialties of the house were participatory cook-your-own dishes, including fondue, raclette, and a variety of self-grilled meats and vegetables. We opted to grill chicken and steak, along with mushrooms, onions, and peppers, all dipped in a trio of dipping sauces. While waiting for the table-side grill to sizzle, I indulged in another silky serving of foie gras pate. More curious tourists snapped pictures. The well-mannered dogs just snoozed beneath the table.

Dessert was a crème brûlée brought to the table with the charred sugar crust still in flame. By now we were sated. The dogs too, abandoned us to chase toys with their owner and then settle under the table of the couple seated next to us. It was their turn to smile at the tourist paparazzi.

We headed down the hill, delighted with our Mother’s Day in Paris.