Wining and Dining in France

Updated: May 14, 2020

I am definitely drinking too much! The delightful wines available locally – 2 euro 50 in the local pizzeria for a pitcher of the van de maison - slip down like nectar. It is enough to tempt the most serious of abstainers. As the sole diners when we arrived, a couple of evenings ago, Madam completely ignored us, glued as she was to her iPad. Another English group arrived almost simultaneously, who were equally ignored. A beautiful blond haired boy, about three years old, was charging around the restaurant, full of energy and mischief, whilst his much more serious sister sat quietly at a table, engrossed in a game she was playing.

Deliciously simple meals and gorgeous wines

The restaurant was simple. A younger woman, possibly the mother of the children, was in the kitchen also seemingly ignoring us, but not appearing to be unduly busy. A French family of three arrived, mother and children and suddenly there was much folding of pizza boxes in the kitchen whilst Madame still ignored everyone, head bent to the iPad. Finally, she looked up from what she was doing, obviously something extremely important, and came to life, rushing to the till to calculate and take the money for the pizzas, engage in rapid conversation with the French family before striding over to welcome her clients with much ‘ bonjouring’. Obviously the internet operation had been something that seriously needed attending to. The other English clients were obviously well known to her and there was much kissing and discussing of the menu. When it came to our turn, A wisely chose a pizza, whilst I chose the carbonara. Being a fan of the latter and it being one of the signature dishes at home that I rarely cook now, due to the calorific content, I was rather looking forward to the treat. The pizza was delicious and passed A’s ‘flop’ test. Apparently it didn’t, which is good. Something was lost in translation with the carbonara, or I didn’t read the menu carefully enough. The pasta was lukewarm and the dish was topped with a raw egg, which only further increased the stoney coldness of the pasta. It was decidedly untasty. In future I will stick to the signature dish. It was, after all, a pizzeria!

During all of this, we were entertained by the antics of the blond three year old, who proceeded to bring his attempts at drawing to show us and demonstrate his superman prowess by jumping off any available surface in the restaurant over ten centimetres high. His attempts at drumming with the cutlery were quickly curtailed by his grandmother, as was his attempt at the 100metres around the restaurant. In contrast, his sister, probably about seven, served the tables, now filling with clients, with water jugs and baskets of bread. She was very much the serious, scholarly older sister, with her glasses and long hair. She went from table to table dutifully putting carafes and baskets carefully on each one and being duly ignored by the people at the other tables. When she came to us, I told her what a wonderful young waitress she was and she went off glowing with a smile on her face, the first we had seen that evening. I could hear her telling her mother, in her high little excited voice, that she had been praised by the lady at the table in the window. Shortly afterwards a rather serious gentleman came in, presumably grandpa, and Superman and Little Miss Serious were clad in coats, belongings gathered and they were bundled off out of the restaurant along with car seat, presumably home to bed.

The café is obviously popular. I would have liked the cardboard boxes in the corner to have not been there and the door to the kitchen closed. I didn’t particularly want to see the industrial blow torch heating my crème brulee before it was brought out to me, but I shall simply know not to sit in a spot where I can see it happening again! I’m probably being over picky, but cardboard boxes are not something I really want to look at when I am eating out. The wine and the pizza were delicious though and A was happy!