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Report 1939: Chateaux, Rillettes, Sunflowers, Mistral and Tour de France Triumphal Finish

By Anastasia from Canada, Summer 2011

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Page 22 of 28: Bandol Restaurants, La Marmite & Pinocchio

photo by me

La marmite restaurant

La Marmite

It is located in a small street between Pons and Republique streets in Bandol, next to Auberge Provencale. We stopped at this restaurant as they displayed oysters on their ardoise menu. We were seated in the street terrace and I had a small sea view from there. As an aperitif we were served four types of sauces/tapenade. One anchoiade, a tapenade, a zucchini sauce very good, and another sauce I can't remember. The wine came by pitcher and was inexpensive. My oysters arrived on ice with a lemon and garlic butter and my husband went with a fish soup with croutons and rouille. The soup portion was big and it was delicious. Our son was served a steak hache with fries. Asked to cook it more, and the waiter changed his plate also no problem.

Then my husband got his taureau with vegetables which was delicious. He first asked for well done meat, but the waitress recommended cooking it less and she was right. I received my exquisite bowlful of mixed of fish and some mussels. Now, I think this was the best dish I ever tried in Provence in our three trips there. The fish was perfectly cooked and very tasty. It was served in a yellow sauce made of fenouil, garlic, saffron and other ingredients, it had nicely cut carrots and a potato. A real delight in each spoonful.

For dessert our son had pistachio and cassis ice cream and we decided on creme brulee in lavender liqueur. The creme brulee was exquisite, although the lavender taste was very light. This restaurant doesn't have seafront to sell; if it is there it is because of high food quality and excellent cooking. The price was inexpensive, €53 for three of us for this quality of meal.

I highly recommend this place for our best meal in Bandol and we sampled a few restaurants there staying for two weeks.

Pinocchio

This pizzeria was very popular and right at the doors of a hotel in Bandol. Our son wanted to try pizza and they made wood oven pizza. Personally I didn't necessarily want to have pizza just because there is so much French cuisine to try in Bandol for that price and besides we have that home in Montreal, but we only had pizza a couple of times in our one month stay in France purchased from to go places, so it was okay. Wine was expensive €13 for half a bottle. I went with mariniere mussels which were okay. Although I prefer salty food these had too much salt for my taste. They are definitely not the specialty. My husband had a calzone and our son was happy with his rabbit like pizza. I tried the pizza and it was good, but I wouldn't spend €58 on a pizza meal in France. It has to be a fantastic pizza, unless you are French or just can't live without pizza as our son. It is just that you can have very good pizza to go. The meal itself was pleasant and the personnel very friendly and attentive with kids.

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