Sunday, January 29, 2012

Madame Chou Chou - petits délices gastronomiques éclectiques

The main dinning room. Oui, c'est petit.

Madame Chou Chou is a very special place.

It is, in so many ways, very French. For Americans unused to the way things can be in a small French café, this can be both good and bad.

Le service: I’ve been several times now and Madame was there every time and either served us or checked in on us to make sure things were going well. She is a character, but in the best of ways. She is the heart and soul of this small resto. Now, the flip side is, things do not necessarily move at a rapid pace. Do not come here if you are in a hurry. And the atmosphere is small casual French, so the service from the one waiter I’ve ever seen is,well, casual. Quite pleasant mind you, and the wine he recommended was fantastic while very reasonably priced (the white Entre Deux Mer), but he may forget an order or if you complain show a hint of that French bad boy attitude.So, just be willing to just go with the flow. Think of it as authentic French.

Où s'asseoir (where to sit): Personally I like to sit in the main room. There’s a very cute patio in back, which is where most patrons like to sit, but for me the quieter, more traditional space, though a bit gothic,inside works better. Outside is livelier & noisier, inside; darker and more intimate… that is if it isn’t too crowded.

Le repas: I’ve tried multiple menu items at this point and have not had anything bad. The fish was not to my liking, but it wasn’t bad. It just was a style of preparation that didn’t suit me, but suited my companion quite well. Now the lamb shank, that was good, and one night they had a duck confit special that was astounding. Slightly off the traditional path in that the chef made a confit from a smoked duck, but oh my, did it work well. We practically licked our plates. Everything is reasonably priced, too. If I had a complaint it would be that the menu is a little too limited and the classic French staple of Steak Frite is missing. Please Madame Chou Chou, add a nice steak frite. Please.

Les desserts: OMG. Everything is good, and the fig and goat cheese tart is fantastic – alone worth the trip.

Bottom line: For a mini trip to France, an eclectic off the beaten path France that is, one full of characters, a bit of adventure, and plenty of good tastes, you can’t beat Madame Chou Chou.

Bon apetit!
Le Capitaine


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

La Cachette Bistro: Great food but a generic upscale environment

I’ve been to La Cachette Bistro a few times now. 

The food is quite good. The chef, J.F. Meteigner definitely knows what he is doing in the kitchen. On one of my visits I had the homemade fromage de tete with a gribiche sause and it was as good as you get in France. In fact, many of his appetizers are exceptional.

The dishes run from California-French to traditional French, and the prices are in the $30 to $50 per person for a multi-course meal, not including wine or cocktails.

I hear the lunch menu is more forgiving on your pocketbook, but have yet to try it.

The service was of quality as well. Unfortunately not a French waiter, but still one who knew his business well enough.

My only complaint, and it is one that many may brush aside, is that while the decor is quite nice, it is generic. It's as if the owners asked the decorators for a generic upscale restaurant. And while that may be fine for many, I would guess that the discerning dinner will be put off by the lack of personality.

I would love to see this excellent chef in a kitchen of a restaurant that looked like it has been serving to the literary greats of Paris for the last 150 years - a place where when you step in you are immediately transported, putting you in the frame of mind for the excellent French meal that follows. Now that would create a memorable experience with a strong desire to return again!

Bottom line: Go for the food.

P.S. Go ahead and valet - resistance is futile. What street parking there is, is limited and fought over.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Paullette Faucoup, known to many simply as “Mémé”, a longtime resident of St Tropez, will be buried Monday, January 23rd at 3pm in le Cimetière marin de St. Tropez.

Mme Faucoup moved to St Tropez in the 1930’s after getting married to naval engineer Louis Faucoup. A fixture and friend to all the old-time families of St Tropez, she also came to be known and loved by many around the world who read of her in the St Tropez based novel A Feast at the Beach.

She is survived by a sister, 1 son, 3 daughters,  6 grandchildren, multiple great grandchildren, cousins, and many friends.

~ ~ ~

Paullette Faucoup, que beaucoup appelaient simplement "Mémé", une résident de longue date de St Tropez, sera enterré Lundi, Janvier 23 à 15 heures dans le Cimetière Marin de Saint-Tropez.

Mme Faucoup déménagé à Saint-Tropez dans les années 1930 après avoir épousé ingénieur naval Louis Faucoup. Un montage et un ami detoutes les familles d'autrefois de St Tropez elle a également venu pour être connu et aimé par beaucoup à travers le monde qui ont lu d'elle dans le roman acclamé Une Festin à la Plage, qui prend place a St Tropez.

Elle laisse dans le deuil une soeur, 1 fils, 3 filles, 6 petits-enfants, plusieurs petits-petis-enfants, cousins, cousines, et de nombreux amis.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One of the stars of St Tropez passed away yesterday.

Paullette Foucoup, known to so many simply as Mémé, was a longtime resident, having moved to St Tropez in the 1930’s after getting married to naval engineer Louis Faucoup. 

While she was a fixture and friend to all the old time families of St Tropez, Mémé also came to be known and loved by many around the world who read of her in the St Tropez based novel A Feast at the Beach.

Today, St Tropez is crying at the loss of one of their own. 

Rest in peace Mémé, you are in our hearts forever.