On a recent Sunday night in August in Olonzac, English seemed to be the preferred language - Brits, Irish, and Americans jammed the Cafe de la Poste as we sat down for a glass of pink before dining in Martin's close by. It's a little jarring but who are we to complain? We are American, after all.
We chose to dine inside given the occasional
sprinkle. Places were set for about twenty in the small room but the
tables for two were severely undersized. By the time that a water
bottle, an ice bag with wine, bread, two sets of glasses, silver, and
rectangular plates were set down, the empty table next to us had to be
recruited for the overflow. We were not the only party of two that found
it necessary to commandeer more space.
An amusee plate of
olives, an anchovy-heavy tapenade, and tiny little quiches was all good.
Cathey started with an array of escargot - with garlic butter, with
bleu cheese, and with ratatouille - each accompanied by a flaky pastry.
Cathey's first escargot after 16 months in France and nicely done. I
opted for a small ham omelet with a side salad. Fresh eggs, plain vanilla diced
ham. OK. Cathey's pork with chorizo and cheese came bubbling hot. The
pork was well spiced and the chorizo tasty. Cathey thought that the
cheese took it over the top but I liked the taste/texture combination.
My roast lamb was a bit of a disappointment - not the best cut and not
interestingly spiced. It was French lamb so it was OK, but French lamb
can be special. This was not.
The big rectangular plates came
with two sides, both a bit mushy and nondescript, with eggplant and
carrot and cheese and egg and whatever. One of the sides would have
sufficed if it shown a bit more oomph. Oddly enough, our little glasses
of frites were special, the best in France so far. Real slices of
potato, not reconstituted, fried very hot and very quickly so they
The chocolate cake at the end was proper French dense chocolate cake.
With a demi of wine and a bit of extra service for the sole, kept-hopping waitress, 55 euros.
get me wrong. The meal was worth the price. But if the objective of
Martin's is to take the next step, there's a still a bit to go. Since we
seldom go out to dinner, and therefore like our dinners to be special,
we may not return.