You have to wonder sometimes what comes over some restaurant proprietors when they are decorating. La Table Anna in Reims is a classic French bistro which severs excellent food, however the decor is decidedly quirky. What appears to be a tulip patterned bed sheet has been used as table coverings, seating pelmets and matching curtains. Meanwhile, the walls are covered with a bizarre mix of pictures ranging from photographs of pianists to cartoons of people having sex. Really it was all a little strange.
Don’t let that put you off La Table Anna though. The atmosphere is welcoming and service is warm and effusive. Our waitress was extremely tolerant of our bumbling French even going so far to grab a dictionary at one stage to explain that the palate cleansing granita was thyme flavoured.
Dainty but tasty amuse bouches of salmon on toasted baguette were proffered when we sat down. An entree of assiette of parma ham and melon was well received thanks to the quality of the ingredients and generosity of the serving. My jamon with seeded mustard was a thick slab of ham almost like a terrine in appearance. The ham was fabulous with a really strong smoky flavour.
For mains, scallops “St Jacques” provencal style were slightly overworked but still well cooked, good quality produce. MTV boyfriend’s beef fillet was the star of the show (pictured). The meat was succulent and served with a wedge of scalloped potatoes and roasted tomato. We washed it down with a very reasonably priced bottle of Beaujolais.
Desserts were not of the same high standard of the rest of the meal. I opted for the tarte tartin which was theatrically flambeed at the table. The tart was good however the alcohol was pretty overpowering even after the flambe. As for MTV boyfriend’s creme brulee, he said “it is hard for creme brulee to be bad, but this was not a good creme brulee“. The sugar was not crystallised at the edges and it was cold in places.
Dessert was the only let down in what was otherwise an excellent meal. I must admit that I was still laughing at some of the more lurid pictures on the walls when we left (although I could have still been drunk from the tarte tartin)
Details: 6 rue Gambetta, F 5100 Reims, France (Ph: +33 (0) 3 26 89 12 12)