French w Bas
My experience at SUD is not off to a good start. My friend reserved for my birthday dinner, and he informs me that as much as he tried to speak to the hostess in Arabic, she quite stubbornly insisted on replying in French. When I mention this story to another friend, she tells me the same incident happened to her. Is speaking French (and only French) supposed to exude a classy and sophisticated vibe? It’s baffling, pretentious and completely unacceptable, but that’s our country ladies and gents.
The appetizers promptly arrive and they’re a mixed bag. First there’s the grilled calamari salad, and it’s incredibly bizarre. The fish itself is strangely hot, which contrasts the rest of the salad’s chilled ingredients. The bruschetta with olives and aubergine fares a bit better, with a tangy and intriguing taste I’m not usually accustomed to. The salmon tartare and the tartare de Merou are undoubtedly the star players here. The latter in particular, is surprisingly outstanding.
Our selection of main courses arrive after a 30 minute wait (far too long). My friends and I decide to share everything so we can sample several dishes. The Diavola pizza is unfortunately very bland. I don’t know how they can mess up such a delightfully scrumptious pizza, but it’s useless and unsatisfying. The sea bass has an exquisite (albeit slightly gimmicky) presentation; it’s wrapped in a salt crust which I mistakenly assume is bread (and suffer the consequences of with one small bite). It’s appropriately tasty. Finally, the burger is superb. It’s juicy and oh so very excellent. The fries however are so salty I practically have a stroke. Why Sud why?
For dessert, I manipulate my friends into ordering Pain Perdu, my favorite dessert. Although they both give up after a few bites (they’re unimpressed), I find it quite decadent. However, once I take my final bite, I realize that it tastes exactly like an actual EGG! Suffice to say, I’m left with a completely traumatized taste in my mouth.
Special mention goes to our waiter who is downright terrible. He’s uninterested in any of our inquiries, and seems to relish watching us pour the wine ourselves. While I’m relieved he’s not too trigger-happy with the bottle, a little help would be appreciated. He’s almost as rude as Nonna‘s infamous nutcase.
Price: Around 50$ per person with one bottle of Kefraya Blanc De Blancs.
Presentation: Nothing special. Although the sea bass is a striking little thing.
Ambiance: Sud is located in a cozy courtyard with several other restaurants (I hear Tartine Bakery is the most impressive). Looks-wise, The Gathering is a more beautiful affair with its outdoors-y courtyard.
Must try: The salmon and Merou tartares, and the burger of course.
Go with: Sunday lunch with the fam perhaps?
Give it a shot if you’re looking for a change (the atmosphere is charming enough), but be prepared for an uneven meal.