Skip to main content

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first in and we weren't offered a menu, though I suppose that we could have asked for one. We tend to start at a new place with the plat du jour. If a kitchen can't properly prepare the featured dish of the day, what hope is there for the rest of the menu?

So, a choice of a charcuterie plate or a salad with chick peas for a start, slow-cooked beef for the main, and a mousse for dessert. All was quite satisfactory. The charcuterie was not the typical plate of smoked ham, paté, and saucisson. Frankly, I don't know the proper names of most of what we ate. I think that there was a bit of tongue, but I could be wrong. With a very nice, crusty roll and a bit of butter, an interesting and enjoyable mix. (We didn't try the salad but it looked ample and fresh.) The beef was falling-apart tender, swimming in a light gravy enhanced by red wine, with potatoes done just firm enough. Fresh parsley for color. A substantial portion for a chilly December day. Our server refreshed our basket of rolls, necessary to sop up the gravy. The smooth, creamy mousse for dessert came with crunchies on top and a bit of red fruit stirred in.

My café créme was positively tepid, almost cool. Too bad, but there's always something...

With a demi of wine, the tab came to 33€. Good food at a good price. And when we asked to see the dinner menu, the slate that was brought over looks the same.

Ché Olive doesn't have a website or a Facebook page. No one can accuse the French of intrusive marketing. No one can accuse the French of marketing at all. Open most weekdays for lunch and starting Thursday night for dinner...I think. You'll just have to call. 06.69.95.48.03





Comments

  1. Thanks for the review; I am sure we will visit next time we are in town. I notice that he has Magret de Canard on the dinner menu. I still remember the best breast of duck that Olive prepared at the Bar de Quarante. We always enjoy your reviews and add the restaurants to our to list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tamra. Let us know the next time that you are in town.

      Delete

Post a Comment

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

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t