We were just passing at lunchtime, and thought we would give it a try - we were really just scouting the place out. Such a frosty reception: "What are you doing here? You should have made a reservation. Were you lost?" I think people eat there despite Le patron (M. Desmette), rather than because of him! I don't think that he cares what people think, just so long as he can concentrate on his cooking, which he does extremely well. A word of warning: he was only open because another couple had made a lunchtime booking. So, book!
We had the set lunch - le menu des amis. It came to £40 for the two of us. No choice: A light vegetable soup, just perfect! Followed by beautifully poached salmon in a delicious red wine sauce with beans (not many!) and mashed potato. Actually, that was well worth the £40 on its own. Followed by two scoops of blackcurrant sorbet, which was a bit dull considering what had gone before. All served extremely quickly - we were out in an hour.
I don't know whether M. Desmette has hyper-acute hearing or has the tables bugged, but I quietly remarked to my wife whilst eating my soup that there was no salt or pepper on any of the tables - not that it was needed, actually. 30 seconds later, M Desmette swooped down on us bearing salt and pepper. He keeps birds of prey in his garden, and I feel that he has a lot in common with them.
The comparison with Basil Fawlty is somewhat unfair, as Fawlty was incompetent, whereas that cannot be said of Frederic Desmette at least as long as you consider just the cooking, not the front of house side. We'll go again, but it's not a restful experience.
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