Wednesday, April 29, 2015

RESTAURANT LE 29 AU BORD L'ETANG, BOUZIGUES - A REVIEW



Bouzigues fronts the Bassin de Thau, a saltwater lake (etang) separated from the Mediterranean by a strip of land that reminds one of the Outer Banks. The waterfront is lined with restaurants, all featuring the oysters and other seafoods from the etang and the Med. It's not the most picturesque of villages but the flavor of the place is certainly more inviting than the more crassly commercial towns directly facing the Med. There are souvenir shops to be sure, but they are somewhat restrained and don't appear to be the raison d'etre of Bouzigues. Rather, the work of harvesting the bounty of the etang and the sea seems to take precedence.

Cathey and I both chose from the 22 Euro menu at Restaurant le 29. Cathey started with the plateau de coquillages (6 oysters and 6 mussels served on a bed of ice). The oysters were as advertised. Bouzigues oysters are recognized as about the best to be had in the region. It was Cathey's first try at raw mussels on the half shell and, with the vinegary sauce in a squeeze bottle added, she enjoyed the taste. (Don't try this at home. The mussels have to be fresh, fresh, fresh.) I had the baked Camembert on toast with bacon, onions, and mushrooms and a small side salad. Creamy, tasty good. Cathey's main was the Parmesan encrusted fresh morue (cod) topped with herbs and lemon. Cathey raved. Superb, she said. Excellent. These are words that Cathey seldom uses in restaurants. And the distinctively prepared side of rice also took her fancy. I had the pork filet with a honey and ginger sauce. (Yes, seafood is pretty much lost on me.) Totally satisfactory.

For dessert, I had a lemon meringue torte, Cathey the rum baba. Both with pastry cream and whipped cream, both a pleasant quality surprise at the finish.

With a bottle of picpoul and coffee for me at the end, 64 Euros.

I suggested that we might try one of the other restaurants along the waterfront next time. Cathey would have none of it. We'll be back to le 29 the next time that friends visit who enjoy seafood.


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