Skip to content

on eating in restos a lot, or is it eating a lot in restos

O my, I must have been hungry? Did I eat, really eat, all that food? O my, my my. Did it all go down the hatch, do some good,and make me happy?

All dishes shown here were eaten at regular restaurants; that is, no Michelin starred restaurants are represented, except for one meal, and that meal is represented with three dishes, the entrée, the main dish, and the dessert. That restaurant was Figuier de Saint-Esprit in Antibes.

I am keeping those dishes a secret, and suggesting, dear reader, that you guess which ones appeared on their menu.

Several of the dishes come from restaurants that are sometimes called the ‘restaurant familial,’ a family-like restaurant with dishes that mother and grandmother would make at home.

These restaurants are some of my favorite places to eat. I will mention Le Brebant near the train station in Juan-les-Pins. Le Pin Parasol near the bus station in Antibes, Le Lisbonne, also in Antibes, and Cafe du Tailleur in Marseille. Oh, I did not mention Le Bistrot du Coin in Antibes, too.

Hmm. Maybe I should mention Lou Pistou and Chez Palmyre and let’s not forget La Merenda, all in Vieux Nice. Oh, I forgot to mention La Storia and La Pergola in Antibes.

These restaurants remind me, in part, of the kind of dishes that the President of the Republique wanted when he hired a personal chef in the film Les Saveurs du Palais, or Haute-Cusine, the English title. He did not want fancy dishes, those elaborate plates with little personality, the decorations and fancy sauces that obscured the natural flavors of the meats, fishes, and vegetables. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

on catching the light in antibes

If I could only catch the light. That is all I want. In order to do that, I will visit villages in France when the sky is clear, the air pristine, and the sun shines at high noon.

In some villages, along the Mediterranean Sea, for example, it easier because the building walls are not so high. They are fishing villages and may be two or three stories high. Martigues, to the west of Marseille, is a good example and one of my favorites.

The perched villages in France, those with a middle ages provenance, pose the most problems. The walls are high, and more importantly they jut up from narrow streets, more like alleys, and block out the sun.

I want to catch the light because I want to take pictures, and it is that sunlight which provides the light and shadows for taking those photographs. Without the light striking past those walls and into the streets of a village, I will only have a shaded or dark passage.

So, I tend to stay home and not venture far away when the sun does not shine. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

On what I am seeing with a pass vaccinal in the pocket

Chers clients, Pour toute venue dans notre restaurant, vous allez devoir présenter un ‘pass vaccinal‘.” –un restaurant

“En application des mesures gouvernementales de lutte contre la propagation de la Covid-19, un passe vaccinal est exigé pour les visiteurs de 16 ans et plus. Les visiteurs de 12 à 15 ans inclus doivent présenter un passe sanitaire. Le port du masque de catégorie 1 (non fourni par le musée) est obligatoire pour tous les publics à partir de 6 ans.”  —Musée d’Orsay

In order for an American to enter France today in early 2022, two vaccinations are required and possibly a booster shot if you are over 65 years old. You must test negative within a 48 hour period before boarding the airplane.

It is not clear to me if no booster would prevent entrance. When I traveled to France on February 1, 2022, I was not asked specifically whether I had a booster or not; the authorities at the various airports asked for my vaccination records and whether I had been tested for Covid before boarding the plane in Portland and before leaving the United States.

Three times at three different airports—Portland, Seattle, and Paris—I needed to show my vaccination records and my recent Covid test. Before I could go through passport control at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was separated from other passengers and sent to a red area where my recent Covid test was checked. France has designated United States and its citizens as a high risk for having Covid and red is our color. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Not having the booster shot while in France, if you are over 65, is a risk not worth taking.

France has instituted a passe vaccinal. It replaced the passe sanitaire.

But wait, there’s more!

On being there, or on taking self-effacing selfies

sel·fie | ˈselfē | (also selfy) noun (plural selfies) informal
“a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary.”

self-ef·fac·ing | ˈˌself əˈfāsiNG | adjective
“not claiming attention for oneself; retiring and modest: his demeanor was self-effacing, gracious, and polite.”

re·flec·tion | rəˈflekSH(ə)n | noun
“1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it: the reflection of light.  2. an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface: Marianne surveyed her reflection in the mirror.”

I do not take selfies with my smart phone. I have yet to point a smart phone my way, when I am alone or when others are nearby, and have not snapped and—voilà—a moment was captured.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

When I think of selfies, I think of an extra-ordinary moment, one that I find amusing every time, that occurs whenever I visit the room in the Louvre where one sees the Mona Lisa.

People must line up and follow a path, partitioned by ropes, before reaching the head of the line. There the tourists will take photos of the Mona Lisa, or they will turn their backs to her, lift their smart phones, and take pictures over their shoulders of themselves with the Mona Lisa behind them.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!