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eating in a 1 star . . . someone must do it

Someone needs to eat in a French Michelin starred restaurant, and it might as well be me. –Michael Groves

I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance. —Steven Wright

Some of us are born rebellious. Like Jean Genet or Arthur Rimbaud, I roam these mean streets like a villain, a vagabond, an outcast, scavenging for the scraps that may perchance plummet off humanity’s dirty plates, though often sometimes taking a cab to a restaurant is more convenient. —Patti Smith

Entering and eating in a Michelin starrd restaurant means, I think, that money will not be a big concern after leaving. It better not be.

Ordering a slice of pizza is out of the question. A submarine sandwich will not be on the menu. An American style hamburger with French fries and ketchup has not made it on a carte, as far as I know. It is highly unlikely that a Pepsi or a Coca Cola will be offered as an aperatif.

When I leave a starred restaurant, I think back on the service, which starts when I enter and ends when I walk out the door. I wonder if I had been surprised at all. Did the dishes look artistique? Carefully prepared? Was the wine selection appropriate? As I walk down the street later, I ask myself, “Do I want to go back and pay that much again?”

Recently, I did return to a one star restaurantUne Table au Sud—where I had eaten last year. After the meal, I said, “I wonder when I can go back?”

Une Table au Sud sits on the second floor (first floor in France) in the corner of the Vieux Port. The Vieux Port is “U” shaped, and the restaurant is located to the right as you face the port.

One MICHELIN Star : High quality cooking, worth a stop! Using top quality ingredients, dishes with distinct flavours are carefully prepared to a consistently high standard. Very good standard.

The menu and the prices are posted at the door. No surprises.

During the course of the meal, four people served me in various capacities. The meal consisted of three amuse-bouches, an entrée, a bouillabaisse, a dessert, and an espresso.

At the helm of this restaurant resolutely anchored in the South of France, you will find Ludovic Turac, a young chef featured on France’s ‘Top Chef’ TV show. His inventive and confident cooking artfully cultivates the spirit of the region—Provençal vegetables and locally sourced fish. All is in keeping with the panoramic views over the old port and the ‘Bonne Mère’ (Notre-Dame de la Garde).”MICHELIN guide inspectors

The waiter, who brought the menus, asked if I wanted the French or the English menu. I chose the French. I have learned that translations of French menus into English make the dishes unrecognizable, un-French, sometimes amateurish. If I need an explication of a French dish on the French menu, I ask for help.

During the meal, I received three amuse bouches, each explained in detail. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

ma vision d’un hors d’œuvre à la Marseillaise en 3 variations poutargue/huître/oursin

foccacia maison toastée à l’huile d’olive, les légumes à cru relevés d’un aïoli, la morue en brandade aux zestes d’agrumes (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

selon la pêche de Michel et Georges, je reprends tous les éléments de la recette ancestrale pour vous servir « Ma version Signature » (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

ma version de la tarte au citron (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

After each meal, I do like to punctuate it with an espresso. It allows some time, a grace period, to think about the meal, to let the meal do some good, to postpone the reckoning of the bill. Little treats often come with the expresso. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

The explanations for each dish that I have sited here can be found on the restaurants web site. I apologize for the quality of the photos. I have yet to learn how to take photos on my smart phone.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dennis Nolan #

    So would you go back a third time.

    • Greetings. Yes, I will, but a response to your question is a bit complicated. I will go back, but will not order the bouillabaisse menu, the one in the blog post. It is curious. Lately, I have been enjoying entrées and desserts more than the main dish. They seem more interesting. The rhythm seems to be nice entrée, disappointing main dish, nice dessert. The bouillabaisse was good and particular to this chef but . . . Bouillabaisse is tricky and iconic around Marseille.


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