Quick Review: Lou Bantry, France
The restaurant I’d planned to visit wasn’t open, likely because it wasn’t tourism season, so I ended up eating at Lou Bantry by process of elimination. It fit my criteria of being actually open, nearby, affordable and frankly I was too hungry to care.
Lou Bantry had a very strong blue nautical theme which was kitschy almost to the point where it seemed like a Disney themed restaurant. It was very dog friendly like many establishments in France.
We ordered wild prawns flambéed with a salad as a side dish (24,00 EUR / 20.25 GBP), a linguine arrabbiata (13,50 EUR / 11.39 GBP) and Vongole (with clams, shallots and white wine) (18,00 EUR / 15.19 GBP).
I appreciated the free olives before the meal which were salty and tasty. Mind you olives would need to be rotten or something for me to hate them.
The prawns were massive, piping hot and had a nice bouncy texture and a lightly smoky taste with a hint of aniseed. I really liked the soft and flavoursome aubergines and tomatoes.
The Arrabbiata was absolutely soaked in sauce and only slightly spicy.
It turned out that there was a miscommunication and I thought that the vongole was a bowl of clams and didn’t realise that I actually ordered spaghetti alle vongole. The staff were very generous and gave us an additional bowl of clams at no additional cost because of this mistake.
The clams had a very strong flavour and I could taste tomato, spices and a touch of aniseed.
Overall the portions were very generous and due to my mistake there were simply too many dishes on the table and I had to take the spaghetti home which I ate for dinner.
The dishes weren’t exactly to my taste as I prefer my seafood to be lighter on additional flavours and to just focus on the freshness of the seafood. The flavours in the clams and prawns were just a bit too heavy for me, but I appreciated the strong taste in the pasta and vegetables and the generosity of the staff deserved praise. Lou Bantry is a viable option for an affordable seafood meal in Villefranche sur Mer.