La Tables de Nans

Visiting the south of France inspired both delight and anxiety. How to satisfy such great expectations? Well, I decided to book my restaurant reservations far in advance to ensure a table. My first stop was La Tables de Nans in Ciotat. Michelin awarded it one-star. Whatever, it was terrific. From amuse bouche to dessert and everything in between, it was superb and the service top notch. Here is the menu and some of what we tasted and saw.

 

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La Table

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French Bread

Some Frenchmen claim that bread is in decline in this nation that is known for treasured loaves. Apparently, French kids are as crazy as their American cousins for snacks like Doritos. But it's too easy to blame the young. Honestly, initially during my summer trip here I was surprised as the lacking quality of bread at local boulangeries and restaurants. Pale crusts, flaccid and under-fermented specimens, it led me to ask what happened?

But fortune led me to a taxi driver who brought me to Pierre Ragot's bakery on Rue Cabot (Marseille).  Great breads here reminded me of why the French developed such a reputation for their bread. Merci Pierre.

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Vacance

My eight-hour flight to France  made me feel like an aging sardine; dry, brittle, and salty. Also, awfully eager to slip into a tub of water. But by the next day, luxuriating in Cassis, well, I was on vacation. More, I was vacationing in a country where citizens get five weeks off of paid leave. And we Americans think we got it so good, boy, Anyway, here are some photos of my first few days in France.

 

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Linzertorte

For me, linzertorte lingers among my childhood memories. Recently after making some blueberry jam, I picked up a linzertorte recipe and decided to bake a batch using a a percentage of buckwheat flour in the dough. Suddenly I was back down memory lane, stepping into its toothy goodness.

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Gigot D’Aubergine

Tasked with making a simple dinner that was primarily plant-based, I revisited a dish from one of my visits to Turkey. Actually, it was one of my creations, inspired while working in the kitchen of Dilara, my host when I visited Istanbul several summers ago.  It was August. And Dilara challenged me to "make magic." As August is Turkey's eggplant season, I recreated my mother's Provencal studded gigot d'agneau with eggplant, and prepared similarly to another frequent Turkish dish, roasted lamb.

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