If you ever find yourself in Saint-Cyprien at lunchtime, do as we did and stop in at Le Sesame for a delicious meal. We hadn’t planned to eat here; it was the first restaurant we came across while walking through the town. The terrace was packed and there wasn’t a map or guidebook to be seen on any of the tables. Always a good sign!
Quality dishes are made in small batches using locally sourced ingredients. You can taste the thought and care that goes into the food that the tiny kitchen serves up.
Be warned, however. There is no menu card, and the day’s offerings are listed on a chalkboard inside the restaurant.
Or verbally by a friendly French-speaking waitress if you’re sitting on the terrace as we were.
While I can often identify ingredients written in French on a menu and loosely figure out what I’m ordering (as in, bœuf may jump off a menu page but I won’t necessarily know what part of the cow will appear before me until it’s being served), ordering in France is often a nerve-wracking hand-wringy guessing game for me.
(Yes, I’m a crappy Canadian and should have paid more attention in French classes in school. Le sigh.)
Adding to our challenge of ordering at Le Sesame was the fact that many dishes were sold out, as we had arrived towards the end of service. So just as I’d breathe a sigh of relief with the dish I’d ordered, the waitress would reply in a string of non-identifiable words and then wait expectantly for me to respond.
I started to panic.
Thankfully a bilingual woman seated near us noticed our struggle in ordering and came over to help. I’ve never wanted to hug a stranger as much as I did in that moment.
Still, not knowing exactly what she’d ordered us, we sat nervously waiting for our food to arrive.
The food that appeared in front of us was absolutely perfect.
And let’s not forget the bread. What would life be without carbs?
A massive thank you to the bilingual woman who not only saved us from walking away from the restaurant with our heads hung in shame, but also ensured that we had one of our favourite meals of our trip that day. You’re an angel. One day when we move to Saint-Cyprien (did I mention that we adore this town?), we’ll meet for coffee and reminisce about that time she saved our day. Until we meet again..