Treasuring Middle Eastern and Armenian food, and making regular trips to Cannes we were glad to finally visit the famed Restaurant Armenien along the Croisette.
Upon arriving, some understandable things are quickly appreciated: There is little notably Armenian about the food. The restaurant serves a genial, standardized Turkish mezzo menu, tailored to the city's widely mixed clientele. The interior, while bedecked with photographs that suggest an earlier more bohemian incarnation, has settled into a comfortable, chintzy, somewhat anonymous look that would not be out of place in most hotel lobbies. For a restaurant in Cannes, and no less one that has a long tradition in the city, it was not a surprise to see a significant bill. All that was fine.
What *did* surprise was the absurd quantity of food for the regular meze menu. Plate after plate arrived with no real accounting for guests' tastes or inclinations. When we politely objected to the owner that we were more than full, he looked surprised and told us that we could just pick from the plates that continued to come, we didn't have to eat it all. This was perhaps a generous gesture, but in practice it left us no more consoled. If they were recycling food from untouched plates and serving them to other guests, then our own food had likely traveled that route; if they were not recycling food, then an enormous amount was being wasted.
The food was not to distinctive as to merit such lavish quantity, and the owners, who had clearly seen this many times before, smiled blandly and just kept it coming. Out of politeness, we relented, and regretted it.
One suspects this is an arrangement that works well for the restaurant, and the transient clientele in Cannes keeps them in business. It surprises that it works at all.
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