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LES SAVEURS DE THAU, MEZE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

The sunset view from LES SAVEURS DE THAU
The Étang de Thau is the largest of the string of lagoons or salt water lakes that run along the French Mediterranean coast from the outlet of the Rhone down to the Spanish border. These lagoons form an excellent environment for all sorts of fauna, from flamingos and herons beloved of photography buffs to mussels, oysters, and all sorts of fish for that fine, Mediterranean cuisine. So, when you attend a late afternoon concert in a village on the Étang de Thau, why not have dinner at one of the fine seafood restaurants that generally line the waterfront? I've written about restaurants in Gruissan, in Bouzigues, and in Sète. Now, thanks to Bach and a whirling Dervish, Mèze.

(Yes, a Dervish performedd with Sufi chanters in a Protestant church in a small town on the French Mediterranean coast, right after a French group of singers and instrumentalists offered a Bach motet.. I'll be writing about that singular experience anon.)

Internet investigation reveals that there are a dozen or so seafood restaurants that would probably be worth investigating in Mèze. How do you choose? You check out the website (or the Facebook page). You hope that the menu and the prices that have been posted are reasonably up to date. You look at the pictures 'adjusted' to make the place and the food look as welcoming as possible. The fact that we would be arriving on a Sunday evening in March narrowed the field, but not by much. Then you throw a dart at the map and you call the winner for reservations.

Les Saveurs de Thau is a cozy, intimate, well-appointed space. We were among the first to arrive because the concert let out earlier than we expected, but that's OK. We got the full attention of the server that way. And as is often the case in the smaller venues, there was only one server. But even as the place made its way to half full, we weren't rushed and we weren't ignored.

The menu did not quite match what I'd read on the internet but it was close enough for jazz. We were treated to a sweet little aperitif at the start, maybe a kir with a berry syrup. I chose the start-main-dessert special as did two of my three tablemates. One just wanted a main. All opting for starters chose the grilled shrimp. Excellent. Good size and as sweet as any shrimp we've had in France. Messy to shuck but we were given little lemony hand wipes that did the trick. I ordered a piece of beef. Every once in a while, I give French beef a chance. This cut, bavette d’aloyau, was a step above the normal bavette, seared on the outside, pink-to-red on the inside, as proper a piece of meat as you'll get without spending considerably more. Two of the ladies opted for a plate with small portions of two fish, lotte and bourride, that were just enough and just diverse enough to satisfy. Our Slovakian visitor, not a lover of seafood, opted for duck confit. Her first taste of that signature French dish and she enjoyed it. The desserts were impressively decadent, particularly Cathey's crepe maison, the last dish pictured below.

The bill came in at about 35€ per person with a bottle of picpoul, a carafe of rose, and coffee at the finish. A bit heftier than our normal but it was a Sunday dinner, after all. Well done.


Again, my apologies for my ancient digital camera. Each dish tasted better than it looks.

All of the restaurant reviews on my blog are consolidated HERE.






 





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