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

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 TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30€ per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats. 

So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out.

Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are their v…

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for.

The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama.