Testing the very fine Fiat Dobló, we drove it to the Côte d'Azur, and visited the very charming seaside town of Bandol, still breathes the unique and eternally attractive "Ambiance Provençale".
Of course we wanted to enjoy a fine lunch overlooking the blue Mediterranean, the boats, the old port, the inhabitants playing "pétanque". Well we found just the place, "Le Poisson d'Argent", which had opened merely a few weeks earlier.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The young chef offered us several delightful fish menus, but after some hesitation, as the choice was overwhelming, we decided to go for a true, original "bouillabaisse", which, understandably, can only be served for two persons.
As an apéritif, (see photo above) we went for another classic, the cassis, a white (sparkling) wine with a touch of "crème de Cassis". It is indeed a classic, but how well it tastes...
To accompaby the dish, we opted for a bottle of Chateau Barthès 2014, an elegant and tasteful rosé.
The classic "bouillabaisse" comes with rouille, grated cheese, crisp round toasts and then of course a delicious selection of fish, put on a bed of sliced potatoes combined with saffron, other minced sea fruits and big and tasty "moules".
The prepared fish was presented to us by the chef, who then proceeded to fillet it and then laid it on the big cork plate which was, as we said, dressed already with this bed of sliced potatoes, "moules" and minced sea fruits.
This delicious cork dish or plate of fine fish was of course accompanied by the - noblesse oblige - so essential warm fish soup, which was kept on the right temperature with the help of a table burner. This soup, an essential ingredient of the bouillabaisse, was indeed exquisite.
Needless to say we enjoyed this meal, which was so masterfully prepared. We actually do not remember ever having eaten an "original" bouillabaisse which was so tasteful.
It set us back 54 Euros per person, but that is a very small price to pay for such an unforgettable experience.
Your servant finished the meal with a "Lyonnaise" which is a Sorbet de Cassis topped with Crème de Cassis and whipped cream. Another "classic", but there you go.
A touch of modernism
The outside terrace of the restaurant "Le Poisson d'Argent" breathes refreshing modernity. We sat on a terrace with sliding doors which could let the soothing sea breeze in, and which was covered with a roof made of adjustable louvers which be oriented in three main positions to block out the sun rays most effectively, and yet leave an open air space to let the hot air escape.
It proved to be delightfully fresh and comfortable on this very hot summer day, and yes, we could enjoy the view, being only a few yards away from the "petanque” players, the yachts, the silvery beaches...
We just give you here the address: Le Poisson d'Argent, 28 Allée Alfred Vivien, 83150 Bandol Tel 09 81 13 71 70
Hans Knol ten Bensel