Skip to main content

LES TROIS PETITS COCHONS, GINESTAS - RESTAURANT REVIEW

Full disclosure...I'm a sucker for neighborhood joints.

Certainly Cathey and I enjoy destination restaurants with inventive takes on classic themes. But most times when we go out to eat, Cathey and I are simply looking for good food, well prepared, in a casual atmosphere, at a reasonable price. That's what defines a good neighborhood joint. That's Les Trois Petits Cochons (The Three Little Pigs) in a nutshell.

Les Trois Petits Cochons is more a bar than a restaurant or bistro. There's seating for about twenty at tables inside, a few more outside facing Ginestas' market square if the weather suits. You choose starter and main from a chalkboard menu that the waitress props up near your table. We were surprised at the variety. I had grilled Camembert for a starter that came boiling hot with a sort of cracker crust underneath and bits of smoked ham on top. Cathey had an odd take on German potato salad - herring and sliced potatoes in olive oil with a boiled egg for a garnish. There were a number of other choices including the ubiquitous salade chevre chaud (salad with hot goat cheese). For my main I had a steak with pepper sauce, onions, and mushrooms. Cathey had chunks of veal with a tomato and mushroom sauce. Crispy frites accompanied my steak, Cathey's veal came with rice. Everything was nicely but simply presented. No square plates. And everything was properly cooked and spiced. There were even sprigs of herbs in water glasses at the exit of the kitchen that were plucked for garnish as the waitresses brought out the plates. Other choices for mains included beef bourguignon, chicken, duck breast (for a supplement of a couple of Euros), and more.

A demi of wine was included as were our desserts. The wine was good sipping pink. The desserts didn't feel as though they were made in house, local commercial probably. Not bad but not great.

Service was pleasant and cheerful, timely but certainly not rushed. There were clearly a number of regulars in the house for our Tuesday lunch. We heard British English and German as well as our American English and, of course, French. We liked the fact that, as we entered, one of the waitresses was handing a gentleman in a wheelchair a takeout meal and another gent came in later with a basket for takeaway, returning his cleaned plate from his last meal. Being among happy, buzzing neighbors getting the service that they needed, regulars both inside and out, made for an enjoyable hour and a half. And at 13,90 Euros apiece, including the wine, easy on the wallet.

We'll return.

EDIT: We have returned. Many times. A real favorite...

Read more of my reviews HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless.

From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch.

Let me count the ways...

RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking about, or …