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06 2012

What's the Best Restaurant for Tourists?

dining in Europe1

While having a busy life, we are already in the month of November.
I’m staying home today. I had to work on last weekend, so it’s a compensatory holiday.

The topic is what I thought in Europe.
During the14-day trip, I had to dine out about 28 times except breakfasts. As a result, I encountered desperately–terrible dishes twice, some OK ones, and many tasty ones, so I can say I had a good dietary life.

I judged the foods every time, and the basis of valuing varied from weak to strict. My standards tended to be raised at fancy and expensive restaurants. That was just usual if I was in Tokyo, though.

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Les Ombres in Musee du Quai Branly
At this trendy restaurant, Jean-françois Oyon, it would not surprise me if dishes are delicious. Actually, they were good enough.

On the other hand, I relaxed the criteria for some Japanese food that were relatively minor in other countries, like Japanese-Chinese.

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Rairai Ken, a Japanese style Chinese restaurant
Maybe, I don’t choose this restaurant in Tokyo, but it was a precious spot in Paris.

After all, the most impressive restaurant during the trip was a casual French bistro in Galerie Vero-Dodat near Louvre Museum, named Vero-Dodat, we went to on the last night in Paris when we were tired to decide a places to eat. We wanted to have simple French cuisine at the end of the trip, so I simply screened bistros by geographic location on a French restaurant guide site and picked up one within walking distance of the hotel.

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We passed by famous Galerie Vivienne crowded with locals and tourists that was in the immediate vicinity of our hotel and headed to the minor galerie. Though a café near the entrance was crowded with people, on entering the galerie, almost all shops were closed. I couldn’t sense that there were nice restaurants there. Indeed, there were few customers at the restaurant, and the staff was only a man in late 30s with dowdy outfit. I felt it was a mischoice and regretted that we had been seated. They had only 16-Euro prefix menu (appetizer-main-dessert). I thought, oh, my goodness I wanted to pay more and get more decent food….
ホテルから徒歩1分、地元客や観光客で賑わうギャルリー・ビビエンヌを通り過ぎ、マイナーなこのパッサージュへ向かいました。入口近くのカフェは賑わっていましたが、中に入るとお店はほとんど閉まっていました。ここに美味しいお店があるとは思えない感じ。お客さんは少ないし、働いているのはだらしない服装の30歳代後半の男性のみ。正直、外したなと思い、席に着いたことを後悔しました。前菜、メイン、デザートで16 ユーロの定食しかなく、ああ、もっとお金を払ってちゃんとしたものが食べたいのに、と思ってしまいました。

However, the dinner turned out to be a memorable one.
First, the house wine cleared my doubts. The appetizers let us down at first (well, you see, we can make them at home), but it was a good thing. I mean, it actually tasted as you see in the photo (sliced tomatoes with tuna source), but that home-style dishes healed me who was sick of eating out every day. I felt if I were in the monsieur’s house and could relax.

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The roasted lamb was really tasty. I had never eaten that section of meat before. I guessed he did all kinds of things with that inexpensive meat to make it yummy. I do like those kinds of efforts. I could pay more than 16 Euros only for the main. I usually just give my comment on a dish when a waiter or waitress takes a plate away, if it was good, but that night, I stopped him and commended his cuisine. The monsieur who was a bit gruff and taciturn looked so delighted.

The other customers seemed to be people of the district: a mother and little daughter (we presumed that they her husband was out of town, so they dined out) and a relatives gather. An elderly couple took out food. It was not uncommon daily sight on Saturday evening in Paris.

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Merci beaucoup, monsieur!

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