This last weekend, the Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin headed to the south of France, under the pretext of the Ninja Turtle’s trail race, but really, it was to enjoy the warm weather and the best of Grenoble’s gastronomy. The Ninja Turtle, being an ardent user of TripAdvisor, turned to the trusty old application on her mobile phone and did some last-minute research during their 6-hour road trip from Metz.
Of course, top priority went to the pre-race meal. With carb-loading in mind, the Ninja Turtle scrolled through the listings, keeping an eye out especially for restaurants with pictures of BIG servings (because this Turtle can really eat). Soon enough, she found exactly what she was looking for, an Italian place called Ciao a Te. The reviews really talked up the place, especially with some people claiming to have waited years to get a table, but the duo lucked out – five minutes before they’d rung in wild hopes of making a reservation, someone had cancelled their table, liberating the place for GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle. It was fate.
In this family-run enterprise, the atmosphere was exactly what one would imagine eating at an Italian friend’s to be like. The service was friendly – even intimate, and as a sign of their immense pride in their standards, diners have to actually walk through a part of the kitchen to get to the dining room. They have absolutely nothing to hide!
The duo were absolutely starving when they arrived, but the food came out quickly enough, and the portions were enormous. The antipasti plate was to share, and the restaurant makes the most amazing bread rolls fresh daily. After begging the waiter twice for the recipe, the young man got one of the chefs, his equally young sister, to give the Ninja Turtle the recipe. She even insisted on giving the duo a bag of extra bread rolls to take home!
They kept humbly repeating that it was a really simple recipe and there was no real secret to it, but they must be lying or these Italians must have fairies in the kitchen because those bread rolls were really out of this world.
The bill was very reasonable, especially considering the quality and quantity of the food, and the overall experience. The Ninja Turtle personally thinks that this was by far the best meal of the trip, possibly even this year. At any rate, it was hands down the best Italian restaurant she’s even dined in, here in France.
The next meal they enjoyed was a post-race and birthday celebration meal at the restaurant Zakhang, a place that describes its food as French-Indian fusion, and rated #2 in Grenoble by travellers on TripAdvisor. This was a very posh type of dining place, and also required a reservation. Indeed, just as the duo were walking in (half an hour late), two other sets of diners were being turned away for showing up without a booking.
Unfortunately, the air-conditioning had broken down on that particularly hot day, and poor GodzillaPin was perspiring through the whole meal. The experience was somewhat compromised as a result. The service was efficient though, and the food was good – definitely somewhere for a special occasion (as reflected in the price tag), and as always, book in advance. This restaurant also has a little window outside, where one can look through into the kitchen. After the meal, the duo walked by and chanced upon the two chefs, so they stopped to say thank you for a wonderful meal. Naturally, the chefs appreciated the feedback.
GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle really enjoyed the trip, not least because of the food, which is just as well since the duo will be heading back down south in two weeks’ time!