We're not water people, not swimmers in pools or in the Mediterranean. But some of our favorite restaurants are near the Med or on the Canal du Midi. Particularly when spring comes, before July and August when the French decamp to the shore en masse, we like to head for the coast for lunch on a sunny day, stop for a sip and a nibble, and watch the world pass by. On a recent Saturday, breezy but with clouds making way for a bright sun, we stopped at Grazie in Meze for lunch.

Grazie is a smallish space with a glassed-in verandah and a few tables inside across from the bar. Calls itself a trattoria. Due to the cool, breezy weather, the outside tables and chairs that could be set up across the pedestrian walkway next to the boats moored in the marina were stacked and unused.

The veranda filled quickly, about ten tables of from two to six diners including a couple of noisy children. No, I'm not a grumpy old man who can't stand children in a restaurant. But combined with a packed, happily gabbing crowd in a relatively small space, it became difficult to converse with my soft-spoken table mates. 

The servers were pleasant and attentive without being intrusive, explaining both a printed off-menu special and a chalkboard special. The main menu was a bit thin. Limited choices. Cathey chose the poulpe, Eveline the fish special - mullet, and I had a pizza. All arrived in reasonable time taking into account that it's France and we're retired so don't check our watches. And every dish was well presented, well portioned, and properly prepared. Cathey worked her way through more food than she usually does, a definite indication of a quality meal. Likewise, Eveline finished her plate. My anchovy pizza had a decent crust, not the typical French toppings-on-a-cracker, and was covered with caper berries.

The desserts mirrored the quality of the mains. Tiramisu for Eveline (Grandma's recipe, so the menu said.) and a medley of citrus tastes including limoncello for me, both fine finishes. 

With a bottle of wine, no coffees, about 35€ apiece. 

I have clearly picked a nit or two. I did enjoy the meal. But I'm compelled to say that Grazie probably won't join our regular rotation. Not enough choices. Not enough elbow room. But give it a try. You might very well feel differently.



 I retired on April 1, 2014. Cathey and I boarded a plane at JFK on April 15th with four suitcases and two cats, determined to become lifet...