2017 was the first time we dined at Gaston Gastounette in the Old Port area of Cannes, at 6 Quai Saint Pierre.
We returned this year.
I looked at my restaurant notes to see that the two of us had ordered nearly the same dishes both times.
The service can be painfully slow — and this is a place that has experienced old school waiters — but the food is worth the wait for first or second time diners.
Either the menu has changed since we were there a few weeks ago or it is merely representative, but the descriptions below should demonstrate that the cooking is competent.
Diners choose two starters and one main course. Prix fixe menus are currently priced at €33 and €41.
This is the wine list.
In 2017, both my far better half and I ordered the €40 prix fixe menu. We sat outdoors next to a British couple.
The waiter brought us regional black olives as an amuse bouche.
The wait between courses was so long that both of us yearned to light up cigarettes. However, we didn’t, because of the couple sitting next to us.
When it came time to leave, all four of us got up at the same time. We moved a few yards away and all of us lit up simultaneously.
We all remarked that, as we were together, we could have easily smoked between courses at dinner — and had a good conversation.
All of us wondered why the service was so doggone slow.
I remember that we kept eating the bread — thankfully, the waiter refilled our bread baskets regularly — and that I ate all the butter provided. Believe me, there was a lot of butter.
That year, the two of us began with two starters each of salmon tartare, filet of sea bream (dorade) and three oysters. There was a garnish of salad on the side of the plate. Why they left the salad undressed is anyone’s guess. A bit of vinaigrette would have added just the right note of acidity.
Other than that, the starters were very good, indeed. The oysters were of a good size with perfect flavour: sweet and salty at the same time.
My far better half (FBH) ordered Deep Fried Squid (calamar) and shrimp (gambas). In my notes, I wrote, ‘Looked great — nice and crispy’. The tempura batter looked perfect.
I ordered baked sea bass (loup, from the Mediterranean) garnished with sautéed artichokes. I noted, ‘Lots of artichoke! Yum!’
We drank Bandol Blanc, Domaine Bunan 2015, Moulin des Costes from the province of Var (83740 La Cadière d’Azur).
My FBH had baba au rhum, described as rather ‘industrial’.
I had a competently prepared creme brulée.
This year, we chose the €36 prix fixe menu.
We sat indoors near the window this time. There were no tables outside the restaurant.
The waiter brought us regional black olives as an amuse bouche. I was happy to see that they continue to do that.
Each of us ordered oysters, which were perfect, as in 2017.
For the second option, my better half had the raviolo with white truffle.
I had the artichoke salad, which was ginormous, with lots of artichoke.
This time, I decided to have the deep fried squid (calamar) and shrimp (gambas), too.
Both of us thought they were excellent. The tempura batter was outstanding.
We drank Cassis, which is a white or a rosé wine from the Var and not in any way like creme de cassis (blackcurrant) used in kir.
We chose the Domaine du Paternel (Santini family) for €44.
Service was execrable, considering there were only a few tables of diners. We got there shortly after 7 p.m.
I am happy to say that I did not devour the whole pot of butter at our table.
The waiter did not even ask us if we wanted dessert! He just presented us with the bill (€114).
I understand that the ladies’ loo is done in marble and is above average for Cannes restaurants in its cleanliness.
You can read more about Gaston Gastounette on TripAdvisor.
As the service so slow and we were not even asked if we would like dessert this year, we are unlikely to return.
We’ve been there twice and ordered the same things twice, so there is no need for a third visit.
That said, Gaston Gastounette is worth a visit for those who don’t mind waiting. The food is excellent.