|Imagine strolling down the streets of Auver-sur-Oise, a small artists' village twenty-two miles northwest of Paris, in the summer of 1890. You may have glanced in the window of the Auberge Ravoux and seen Vincent Van Gogh and his friends sitting at their usual table, passing steaming bowls of carrot soup or lamb stew and discussing their days' work.
But one night, Vincent's chair at the table sat empty. He had left that afternoon for the countryside with his paints and easel, but did not return in time for dinner. It was after dark when he finally arrived at the inn, badly injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Vincent died in his attic room above the Auberge two days later.
For the first time in its long history, Van Gogh's table has a new home -- the Casanova Restaurant in Carmel. The owners of Auberge Ravoux and Casanova share a friendship born from a passion for Van Gogh's work and the seasonal, rustic cuisine of the French countryside. They met in 2002 when Walter Georis visited Auver-Sur-Oise, inspired by the book, Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux.
In honor of their new friendship, Dominique Janssens gave Walter Georis the table where Vincent ate during his stay in Auver-sur-Oise. Today, an intimate room at Casanova -- recreated in the style of the Auberge Ravoux - has been reserved for those fortunate enough to dine once again at Vincent's table.