One of the places recommended to us by Rafael was Au Bon Vieux Temps. Located right off the main tourist street of Rue Hedi Zarrouk, the place has a nice, almost romantic feel.
Perfectly in character, we arrived just at the beginning of dinner service. We enjoy the quiet before the chaos.
Though folks rave about the views, I really didn't think it that great from where we sat on the patio.
The menu featured both French style and Tunisian style dishes. The prices were the highest we'd encounted in Tunisia, but still pretty reasonable by US standards.
We were still in search of a Tunisian wine we really enjoyed. Not really knowing where to start and wanting a "blanc", we simply ordered the most expensive bottle on the menu at 42 Dinar, which was about $25 US at the time. It turned out to be a good choice as this bottle of Magnifique was light and refreshing, with a crispness to it. We ended up getting this whenever we saw it on the menu.
As the meal goes, we found that we preferred the Tunisian style dishes to the French preparations, like the Fruits de Mer (18 TND - $10 US) which was kind of waterlogged and mushy.
The Duck Pate, a bargain at 10TND, think six bucks, had some potential, the flavor was decent, but the texture was a bit too waxy.
For me, the best dish of the night was my Lamb Couscous (26TND - $15).
This was by far the best couscous we had on our trip. It was light and fluffy. I thought the vegetables were going to be somewhat onerous, but they were fork tender, not mushy, but yielding perfectly under my fork. The lamb was simply flavored, but was also very tender....loved the gamey flavor. It really didn't need the spicy sauce provided, which actually covered up all the wonderful flavors.
The Missus loved Her stuffed squid (22 TND - $13US).
The squid was very tender, we don't really remember much else about this dish.
Right as we were finishing our mains, a gentleman who claimed to be the owner came up to us and started a conversation. He talked the Missus into ordering a dessert, which She loved....probably because of all the pistachios and the rose water. Since She obviously enjoyed the rose water so much, he brought Her a glass with a bit more of it to pour over the dessert....
He also told the Missus She should check out the upstairs VIP area where Presidents, King's, Queen's, and Prime Ministers have eaten. He was a pretty smooth operator.
The Missus managed this photo....perhaps you'll recognize someone.
Overall, this wasn't bad. Perhaps if the prices were a lot higher I'd complain a bit more about the place. On the bright side, we found our favorite Tunisian wine and that makes this meal worthwhile. And as you can tell; we didn't leave hungry.
We admired the sunset as we walked back down the hill.
We were amazed at all the folks sitting and still having coffee at the busy cafe across from Place du 7 Novembre.
Folks laughing and carrying on, chatting as they ended the day.
Meanwhile, right across the street, it was time for prayers at the Mosque.
An interesting contrast for us. Such is life in Tunisia........