When I was in Paris, I deliberately held back from dining out often. I tried it a couple of times, and maybe because it was Paris – the City of Love, City of Light, so romantic, etc. – I just felt very alone. Everyone seemed to be with someone, except me. I went out for morning meals more often than lunch or dinner, and not only because I love the combination of coffee, croissant, and journaling (really good company).
In Bayeux, the feeling – for me – is different. Most places are so tiny that the seating is very close and kind of intimate, considering I do not know this person/these people next to me … yet I do not feel so alone. This actually was my experience at Camille in the Bastille district of Paris one day too; that actually helped my fear of dining alone a bit.
There is a tiny wine bar and bistro about a 5-minute walk from my home, and the Chef cooks – alone - in his tiny bar kitchen that can also be seen from the window facing the street. When I was new in town, and I’d walked by initially, he’d actually smiled at me, and I smiled back.
I think I’ll take myself there for lunch! And so I did, making my reservation personally with him one day soon after.
By now I’ve taken myself there for lunch twice, on Tuesdays. My first time they seated me at the Bar, with an unobstructed view of Chef and kitchen, and it was pure delight. Having been a Bar Chef in a past life, I can surely get and appreciate what his work is like. He is like watching poetry in motion, he’s very handsome too, and his show definitely keeps me company.
His very short daily menu is simple, delicious, and to me, quite extraordinary. I’ve usually had fish, and it’s like that morning’s fresh catch. He has the same little sides for his three plats du jour, simple pan sauces, and a few favorite squeeze bottles for condiments, just like I used to have. I especially love that he uses a touch of fresh citrus to finish his plates – tres bon!
On my next Tuesday here, I was seated at my usual place! Chef was even more friendly, both taking my order and delivering my courses personally. At the end of my meal, I wrote a note to say that I really get and appreciate what he does, and had my message translated in French on my phone, to show him. He seemed very flattered, and I felt just as happy to be that messenger.
Next stop – Valentine’s Day Tuesday – my favorite holiday! Chef noted my reservation personally, and promised it was going to be just a regular Tuesday.