Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Dīner ("dee-nay", not "dye-nurr") #3: Les Terraillers

by Jim Byerley

MAY 11, 1996

The festival is only three days old, and you're already tired of seeing the same old exhausted faces at the next table in every restaurant? Time to get out of town.

Biot is a small, spectacular hill town rivalling St. Paul de Vence. The good news is that Biot is many kilometers closer to Cannes. The vicinity is also home to two well established and respected Michelin-starred restaurants: Auberge Jarrier and Les Terraillers.

Les Terrailers, with its rough stone arches, could hardly be more charming. Upon entry, you are greeted head-on with a spectacular flower arrangement that is slightly larger than Michael J. Fox. There is not a single Festival badge to be seen on a bustling Saturday night.

The place offers several prix fixe menus of various costs but we chose the most indulgent at 360 francs. A tiny dish of fish mousse arrives first but forgets the proper utensils. We make due with our big dinner fork, feeling somewhat like Alice in Wonderland. It's a brief but effective taste bud wake-up call.

A refined fish soup with rouget filets is next. Broiled scallops sit astride a puddle of herbal puree the color of freshly mown grass. Raviolis with duck fire gars and chanterelles are next in line. The main course is quail and is served quite pink. Everything is good but the elegance of dinners past is missing tonight.

The cheese course provides ample choices of local chevres. desserts are bountiful. The ubiquitous creme brulee is creamy and thick, the brown sugar glaze perfection. The mile feiulle is somewhat heavier than air, but the chocolate mint sorbet is a zinger. Petit fours and coffee bring us to "The End".

Well enough of the real world. Let's get back to Cannes, to business and the same old faces.

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