Wednesday, September 14, 2022

One Man Show

La Table de Nicolas

After my sister-in-law told me to stop cooking all our own meals and go out to eat, we made a reservation at a little restaurant around the corner from the apartment that looked interesting and had good reviews. It was called “La Table de Nicolas”, so I assumed that it was named after the owner. We stopped in a few days earlier and made a reservation with the girl at the counter; 7:30 on Tuesday evening.

We had seen nothing except sunshine and HOT temperatures since our arrival, so the thunderstorm warning was a surprise and just before we were to leave for dinner the clouds actually produced rain. However, the walk from the apartment only took three minutes and the rain did not bother us under a little umbrella. 

Taking our order
Arriving at the restaurant at 7:30 sharp, we were greeted by an Asian fellow who
motioned for us to take any of the four, two person tables in the room. We were a bit surprised to find an Asian gentleman running a French restaurant, and after a Google Translate reading of the Menu the Japanese Cheesecake in the desert section and the Saki on the wine menu hinted at his actual nationality. 

We quickly realized that he was the only person here; he greeted us at the door, he took our order and he then went to the kitchen and started preparing our meals. We were the only clients at first but then another English-speaking couple came in and then two French couples. It was interesting to sit in a restaurant and actually hear some English as this was the first we had encountered here in Narbonne. 

The Chef at work

My seat faced the kitchen area so I was able to watch the chef prepare the meals. His menu was limited to three appetizers, two main dishes and three deserts, and he had obviously prepared everything before. He took little bags containing ingredients out of a fridge to prepare individual dishes. He laid out dishes and carefully plated all the meals on a counter for anyone to view. As we arrived earlier than the other three couples, our meals were prepared and served individually, but I watched him handily cook and plate the other six meals all at once. Working all alone, he seemed to have a well oiled routine down to make this one man operation work efficiently.

Service was relaxed but it wasn’t slow, and everything was excellent. My charcuterie plate appetizer was delicious and Regis “Catch of the Day” was especially good. The cuisine here in the south of France is more flavourful than spicy, so I was not especially impressed with my Pork loin, but it was still good. 

When we were done, we settled up with Nicolas (If that was his name?) and walked home, realizing that as the only one working the restaurant that evening, he was probably going to be there for a good while as he was obviously also the clean-up crew and the dishwasher. 

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