Many years ago I was in JFK airport waiting for a flight to Madrid. A guy walked up to me and said something like "Erkeetat ruggamerdfriopaoaia." At least, that's how it sounded to me. Turns out, he had sized me up as a fellow Basque and spoken to me in Basque. He was really surprised I wasn't Basque - apparently I look Basque. A couple of years later I was driving with some friends from Madrid to Paris and we made a stop at a gas station in the Basque countryside. The gas station attendant spoke Spanish to my friends, but addressed me in Basque! Last night, on the way to Au Bascou, a Basque restaurant in the 3rd Arondissement in Paris, I told Pingle these stories. She just looked at me like "whatever, silly American."
She was right. Sadly, all the waiters were French and addressed me in French. No mistaken Basque identity or Basque language. The good news is that we enjoyed our meal a lot. We started off with scallops. They were mighty nice, a gentle fork prod is all that was needed to cleave off a bite. They were dressed in some kind of vinegar sauce and topped with chopped almonds.
While looking at the menu, Pingle recognized the Spanish word "gambas" and that was all it took - prawns yet again. Of course, there were a bunch of other French words that followed which she questioned me about. "I think it means encrusted?" I told her, totally a guess. I was kinda right - vermicelli encrusted prawns. They didn't look to good to me but I was wrong. The mustard sauce they were served with made all the difference. Really nice.
I ordered veal with ginger carrots. Seemed rather French to me - nothing different than I'm used to here in Paris. Good, but familiar - no angels singing or Basque trumpets sounding when I took the first bite.