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LE PTIT JARDIN, NARBONNE - RESTAURANT REVIEW

Our car spent extended time in the shop due to a busted clutch and we needed to get out of the house. The first day that the car came back, shopping - Lidl, Carrefour, Tridome, and Grand Frais. The second day, a restaurant lunch. Somebody else's cooking. I chose a new place for us, Le Ptit Jardin in Narbonne.

The restaurant is tucked inside a quiet courtyard close to the busy Boulevard Gambetta and Cours de la Republique, on the other side of the Canal from Les Halles. It's a sedate, comfortable, well-appointed space with light jazz playing in the background and a little waterfall tinkling in an alcove near our table. Not too modern, very color coordinated (lime green). We shared the room with a handful of other diners on a quiet February noontime. I would imagine that things pick up considerably as the weather warms and folks dine in the courtyard.

The simple menu touts fresh ingredients; choices are limited but the descriptions suggest interesting executions. We went for the formula of the day - a main and a dessert with coffee for 16 euros plus a 2 euro supplement for a glass of wine. Cathey chose the squid, bite-sized bits properly prepared - short cook time, high heat to keep the bits tender. The plate included a small boat of sauce - parsley and garlic in oil - and a side of fresh, herbed small potato halves. I had the faux filet, a nice little piece of beef cooked to my order with a boat of mild pepper sauce and the potatoes on the side. The rolls came hot and crusty. Dessert came in a shallow bowl, a layer of creamy custard slathered with a tart marmalade (currant?) and sprinkled with crunchy biscuit crumbs. Very nice.

The waitress was attentive without being a nuisance and, when it came time for the coffee, offered decaf as well. When Cathey declined, she was offered tea. Very nice.

36 euros total for a pleasant luncheon in restful surroundings. Very nice indeed.

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