In mid-May 1888, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo that he had found a good restaurant where he could eat for a franc every night. He was referring to Vénissac on Place Lamartine, next door to the Café de la Gare, where he was staying. It must have been a welcome change; Vincent had groused about the bad food in Arles:
“And it’s the same everywhere in these little restaurants. Yet it’s not hard to boil potatoes. Impossible. And no rice or macaroni either, or else it’s ruined with fat or they don’t do it, and make the excuse: it’s for tomorrow, there’s no room on the stove, &c.”
Vincent liked Vénissac’s food and ate there every day, at least during August and September. The restaurant’s interior, including the floor and the wallpaper, was uniformly grey, reminding Vincent of the work of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez.