The restaurants recommended in this blog have all been visited by me and my wife and often with friends. We have visited them at least once. I only recommend restaurants that have a quality that, in my opinion, makes them worth a visit.
Some are world class restaurants, some are very simple, but the food is always worth the price and the chefs have prepared it with pride and love of good food.
The food is essential for being mentioned here. Minor problems when it comes to service and other things are mentioned but does not disqualify them from being recommended.
We have also eaten in some restaurants in the area that do not leave any memories worth writing about.
Finally we have been to very few bad restaurants and have been badly serviced in a few.
These three categories are marked differently in List of Restaurants.
marks our special restaurants. On the map they are found by the red marks and in the search term list under coup de ceur

Sunday, July 8, 2012

L'AIR MARINE

L'AIR MARINE -  Boulevard de la Méditerranée, 11100 Narbonne Plage

Along the promenade in Narbonne Plage there are a number of summer restaurants that are open all day, which is convenient if you like something to eat while you enjoy the beach. These restaurants are however closed in low season and the food is of more standard quality.

There is only one gourmet restaurant that is open all year around at Narbonne Plage. The name is L’Air Marin and is of top quality. It is a typical fish and seafood restaurant, but they serve meat as well. The restaurant has its own fish and sea-food shop so the quality is super.  It was our first visit and we were very impressed by the job of the chef Armand Blot.

The restaurant has two departments, one inside and one outside covered area and the fish shop is just beside the restaurant so one can see all the delicatessen on display. The restaurant is not in direct connection with the beach, but a little walk away from it in the small and busy main street. People pass through the restaurant area between the outside and the inside area, but that is not disturbing.

As it was a Sunday the lunch menu was not available so we had the least expensive menu for 32 euros, which was a good choice. We both started off with a seafood platter that was delicious. As main dish I got a grilled Durade Languedoc style which I enjoyed enormously. It was a big fish. The waiter asked if he should take the fish off the bone for me, but to do that is a part of the culinary experience as I see it, so I said I’ll manage. It is not the first time, in French restaurants, that they had offered me help or given me instructions how to eat whole fish. When you see people eating fish like it was a steak, cutting it across, you understand the problem. My wife’s Lotte with lemon sauce and vanilla was a dream, she said. I ended my meal with a cafe gourmand and my wife had a chocolate dessert that was very good and not to sweet. They have a good selection of local wines on half liter bottles that are perfect for two. The wine prices are reasonable.

The service was correct, relaxed and very helpful. It was no problem to make small alterations to the menu and to have special demands in some small details. We are looking forward to next visit when we are going to try the normal lunch menu which is very affordable.

The only small complain was the first impression. We had reserved a table on the phone and were given, what I would say, was the least attractive table in the restaurant. It was just inside the entrance, just beside the serving counter and partly in the roasting sun. First we thought it was the last table for two, but when we noticed that couples came after us that had no reservation got much better seating, we were a bit disappointed.

Interesting enough it would be more expensive to eat a three course menu on any of the beach restaurants 100 meters away with a sea view and food that is all right, but not any way near this quality. It is also good to know that it is possible to get a good meal even in the winter when it is so pleasant to take long walks on the almost empty beach.

Revisted July 18 2012
Together with friends from Sweden we visited the restaurant to try their set lunch menu. It is starter, main course, cheese, dessert, coffee and a glass of wine for 16 Euros.  The starter was all right. One of us had a sirloin steak for main course which was excellent and the three of us had a gratin on Saint Jaques, which was a disappointment. The number of Saint-Jaques was 3 to 5 in the gratin – the rest was mashed potatoes. The cheese was all right and the cake with figs tasted good, but one of us found, what we thought was, a fish-bone, which put us off a bit. It was actually a straw from the baking brush, but still!
Anyhow, the waiter was very understanding to our complaints and we were offered a glass of champagne (Tattinger) each as compensation.  Even if this visit had a few mishaps we will return to the restaurant, but maybe eat one of the more elaborate menus of maybe just a single course and dessert.

Revisted February 14, 2013 (St Valentin´s day)
We would have had the St Valentin´s menu, but that was not available at noon so we set tried one of the other menus. For starters I had oysters and my wife had a dish with what they call gravelax. As it is a Swedish dish it is a bit confusing that it is called "gravelax" as the Swedish name is just "gravlax". They also cut it differently - across the fish - not in thin large slices as in Sweden. It was anyhow good as my oysters from Bouzigue were. For main course we both had back of cod with chanterelles. The cod was perfectly cooked, but lacked totally salt, which we use very little of, but still. There was no salt on the table so we had to ask for it. A bigger problem was however that the chantrelles were not properly cleaned. It is very unpleasant to get sand between your teeth every time you take bit of food.
The first time we visited we said the service was correct. The second time we had a very good experience of the younger waiter as we had this time, but the senior waiter have not ever given us a feeling we are appreciated customers. We got the same feeling this time. He is correct but has a very unpleasant and snobbish attitude to his customers. One does not feel welcome. We are getting a bit tired of that attitude.


WEB: http://www.restaurantairmarin.com/
LATEST VISIT: 2013
NUMBER OF VISITS: 3
QUALITY DEVELOPMENT: -

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