Le Bistro de la Marine Maximin Cote d'Azur
We had high expectations for this fish bistro. Someone who writes here and who lives on the Cote d'Azur and someone we very much respect, said to definitely go. Glowing review.
We must have missed something. In fact, we missed everything, because we didn't eat anything.
A reservation for five. The scowling waiter (one of two in the entire restaurant) clearly did not want to be working there, seated us. No problem. We looked around and although the restaurant was only 3/4 full, only about 15% of the people seated had any food in front of them, including no bread and no drinks. Those that did seemed to have only salads, no fish. Odd.
Fifteen minutes later, Madame comes over and hands us the menus. When we went on the web site, there is the mention of coquillages, huitres and crustaces. Those were some of the things we came for... this is a fish bistro, isn't it? Fish bistro, similar to our favorite, l'Ecailler du Bistrot in the 11th. Not here.
A limited menu, mostly salads for a first course, several fish dishes for seconds. OK, we'll stay. Ten minutes later, can't get an aperitif, no bread, no nothing. And we weren't alone. Ten minutes more, 35 minutes after we were seated, we got up and left because it was clear that it was going to be a long, long evening, if we ever got anything to eat. We missed all the food and, of course, the "expresso." As I was looking back toward the restaurant, there were the two waiters, nonchalantly moving around, and Madame was nowhere to be seen.
Fortunately, we had had an exceptionally good lunch at Restaurant Le Clos Saint-Pierre in Le Rouret. Daniel Ettlinger knows how to cook and knows how to run a restaurant. Having eaten pintadeau in France for the last 35 years plus, his was the best version we've had. A pleasure to spend three hours there, from the food, to the wine, to the friendly, relaxed and professional service. Everything a Provencal meal should be.