Skip to main content

O VIEUX TONNEAUX, PEYRIAC-DE-MER: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Peyriac-de-Mer is one of those pretty little villages along the Med in the south of France that can be thoroughly enjoyed by folks like us, ex-pats with time on our hands and an interest in the local scenery, for about nine months out of the year. You can find a place to park. You can stroll along the seaside or through tight, quaint little alleyways at your leisure. The vendors in the square on market day have the time to give you their undivided attention, demonstrating both their wares and their charm. But come June, July, and August all bets are off. Peyriac will be packed. All day. Every day.
 
Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge tourists their right to experience places like Peyriac and I don't begrudge Peyriac the right to make hay while the sun shines. I'm not one of those callous transplants who doesn't understand those truths. I simply bring up the point so that you, dear reader, understand that it's probably not a good idea to visit Peyriac during high season unless that's the only time available to you. If you must, you must. Be forewarned.

Vieux Tonneaux translates to Old Barrels. I didn't notice any old barrels during our recent visit on a gray April day but I wasn't looking. I did see a number of picnic tables in a square in the middle of town giving way to a slightly dark, inviting, pub-like interior divided into a couple of rooms with booths and tables reasonably well separated and reasonably comfortable. Slates announced the day's special and listed available wines. We were a tad early, just before noon, almost the first in. But by the time that we left, the joint was nearly at capacity both inside and out.

Two of our party of five chose the special - an endive salad with lardons; faux filet with a light mushroom sauce, veggies and a baked potato; and a fruit salad for dessert. The starter salad was full and crisp with a typical cream dressing. The beef was French beef, done to order and not as chewy as some. And the fruit salad was fresh, not canned, and interestingly flavored with verveine (verbena) and cinnamon. All good. Three of us went for a regular menu item featuring locally sourced tastes - a nice portion of dried, smoked ham accompanied by a toast smeared with tapanade followed by a stack of perfectly grilled lamb, veggies, creamed potatoes, and onion confit. I just love French lamb.

Service was spot on and the waitress was happy to find out for us how the fruit salad had been spiced. With a liter of rose en pichet and four coffees at the finish, 99 euros.

I may have told this story before but it's worth repeating. A foodie friend once asked me if I preferred one meal at a Michelin Star restaurant or three bar-food meals for the same price. My answer was, "It depends." Some days you want to have your palate challenged. Some days you just want some good grub. This was good grub.

Read more of my restaurant reviews HERE.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

DANCING AND SEXISM, JANET JACKSON, HILLARY AND DONALD, AND MORE: #16

   DANCING AND SEXISM Norman and I went to the same high school at the same time, we knew each other, but we had no classes together and weren't really friends. A big, ungainly kid, as a teenager Norman played keyboards for services at a local church. I learned some years after graduation that Norman had gone to a fine arts college and had worked his way up to Resident Organist at a major, big city Protestant congregation. Fast forward to our 25th or 30th high school reunion, I don't remember which. I do remember that when the dancing started, one couple who were obviously into ballroom dancing glided and posed across the floor with serious expressions on their faces. Carefully well rehearsed. Then Norman stepped on the floor, blue suit, white shirt, red tie and all. He stomped. He twirled. His arms and legs flew in every direction. Norman truly danced like no one was watching. I envy Norman's dancing to this day. Sanna Marin wears leather coats, goes to rock concerts, and

MONARCHY, BUTT PATTING, SELF CHECKOUT, AND RANDOM STUFF: #17

  MONARCHY It is not possible to be an English-speaking expat living in Europe without having gained some understanding of how the UK works and how UK policies and politics affect European life. And so, a word about the monarchy is in order today. I'm no monarchist. As an American, I have grown up believing in liberal democracy. Today, I consider myself a democratic socialist. But I have come to appreciate the manner in which British royalty has accommodated itself to the modern world. There is no doubt that accommodation has diminished the role of the monarch. That's probably a good thing. But a diminished monarchy need not necessarily herald the end of the monarchy. Elizabeth's monarchy became simply the personification of her country's flag, to be trotted out to acknowledge community, in good times and in sad times, expressing publicly what was being felt privately. There was a time, during Brexit, when I was furious with Elizabeth. As one of the richest, most well-