At Aix’s Le Cardeur Bacchus, the Tapas Offers a Change of Pace

If you’re looking for a different kind of meal in Aix, consider eating off the tapas menu one evening at Bacchus in Place Cardeur.

“That was absolutely perfect,” Kathy said last night after we turned three shared tapas dishes and a half bottle of rose wine into a dinner. “A variety of taste sensations, but not too much of any one thing.”

We chose the magret du canard (duck) filled with goat cheese, a sesame-covered salmon served in a light soy-based sauce, and chicken legs accompanied by a spicy barbecue sauce, a small salad and a tangy vegetable mix. The dozen or so tapas dishes cost $11 to $13 each, and they’re sizable.

Bacchus is next to one of Aix’s many fountains. It’s a great place to sit outside and people watch, and its music mix – Motown and jazz last night – eased us into an upbeat mood. Get there early. The outdoor tables tend to fill by 7.

A warning. Should you happen to type in Bacchus and Aix-en-Provence on your I-Pad, you’ll likely be directed to an English-language description on the website Aix-Tendances.  Be prepared for a chuckle. It has this to say about the young owner, 20-something Yannick Bouguima.  I can’t resist sharing– one more example of cultures lost in translation:

In Aix-en-Provence, from an early age, [Bouguima] decided to follow the footsteps of his father, himself a trader for many years. ..[He] sets up a new concept around the culinary arts … Epicurean foremost, moving towards the kitchen, ‘good food and drink are the pleasures of life.’ Rocked by the Mediterranean culture, it wants to exploit the flavors of the south. He then goes on a trip to Majorca and discover a refined tapas restaurant, with flavors worked, which reinforces the idea.

Mind you, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Kathy, who when tired tends to have difficulty with the French verb “to be,” informed our waiter, who we think was Bouguima himself, that nous sommes tapas (we are tapas]She’d meant to say nous aimons tapas (we love tapas). Of well.

“I think you are a woman,” the waiter replied, without missing a beat. I concur.


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