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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 23 of 28: Bandol Restaurants, Du Thym a l’ail & Brasserie Toche

photo by me

Brasserie Toche, sophisticated steak hache and fries in verrines

Du Thym a l’ail

This restaurant is at the end of the touristy promenade covered with shops along the port and the beach, but I read good reviews of the place and we decided to try it. The daily menu is available for €12 and €14 which is very affordable. This menu could be ordered until 7pm. Our son had the traditional steak hache and fries, this one was perfectly cooked as we explained.

For appetizers we chose marinated herring. I am a herring lover, mostly salt sort, and often buy it whole and clean and prepare it with onions and olive oil. This herring came covered with vegetable which included carrots and it was truly delicious.

Then my husband ordered shark, I was surprised because he is a meat lover mostly except for salmon. So, I ordered blanquette de veau just to ensure I could swap plates with him. The shark arrived served with garlic, tomatoes and basil on top, with rice, carrots, zucchini and roast tomato. The shark tasted like swordfish (espadon), it was good. Now the blanquette, which is usually a common plate in Montreal was simply delicious. It melted in my mouth. I wasn't sure anymore I wanted to exchange it for shark, although I love fish. Of course my husband couldn't resist the meat and so I finished the shark and he finished the blanquette.

We splurged with the €14 menu and ordered a creme caramel each (I couldn't resist this dessert). Our son had a choice of cafe gourmand, creme caramel or sweet crepe included. He is not too much into sweets like me except for an ice cream. The waiter was really nice when he saw our son's grimace; he offered him homemade vanilla ice cream to see a big smile on our son's face. For €53 for the three of us got an excellent meal.

Brasserie Toche

Nice seafood and fish restaurant facing the port.

This was our last restaurant meal in Bandol and I wanted to try this nice restaurant. This restaurant is just beside Auberge du port and they share some of the same items. Basically the same restaurant with a brasserie section. It is better to book especially on a weekend or a holiday.

I went with a menu and my husband decided on aioli, to sample food. Our son had a child menu and his steak hache was perfectly cooked after our instructions. The most impressive for him was how his plate was presented: he was served on a white rectangular plate his steak hache, his fries on the same plate in a big verrine and a smaller verrine of ketchup. His meal looked like a high-end sophisticated meal. He was very pleased with it.

My coquillages apetizer came very nicely presented on ice rocks and another plate on the side with garlic sauce which my husband liked better than aioli sauce, red vinegar with onions (this is exceptional with oysters, I had previously tried that in Cassis). I have to mention this place also serves spectacular boats of seafood for €68 for two to share, but my husband is not a lover of raw seafood. My main dish was a loup (bar) fish grilled with fenouil (fennel) which came with a delicious sauce made from tomato pieces and herbs and vegetables on a side. My husband received a big plate with various vegetables and fish and aioli sauce. For dessert it was éclair au cafe served with home made vanilla ice cream and vanilla and surrounded by grilled almonds and a coffee sauce. A dinner for €88 for the three of us with a good wine. The highlights were the seafood and the presentation of each dish which was exceptional. Recommended for seafood lovers.

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