Tetou, Restaurant, Golfe Juan, France
What is the right description: brazenness, presumptuousness and / or hubris? Or is it: exclusiveness, exceptional quality and / or “superbe”? Certainly it is “genial” – brilliant – a place you hate or you love. I cannot believe that there is lot space between.
It is the perfection or perversion of southern French arrogance – receiving enthusiastic appreciation by super rich show offs, top celebrities (who don’t have to pay for anything in their lives, since there is always someone else paying), French gangsters, Russian dons, and loud, uncultured, but affluent Americans. The aforementioned exclusiveness could be meant also in that most normal humans are excluded from this place. They are, indeed, as Tetou is ridiculously expensive.
Get a small piece of beach between Cannes and Juan Le Pins at Golfe Juan. Build a shack, add a small kitchen to it, take some chairs from in front of it, put them on the sandy terrace and you should be able to make some real money. In fact, you need to be smarter: you must create a story. If you look at the webpage of Tetou – http://www.tetou.fr/ – you will find the gut-wrenching story of Ernest Cirio, who established “Tetou” named after his pet-name. The fisherman who didn’t want to become a chef in NY, but instead stayed and became the cook for the rich. Impartially said, there are these genius turning a restaurant into a hot spot, although it is really extraordinary that Tetou still is “the” hot spot – now for more than nighty years.
Very likely, one of the reasons for the success is the simple but perfect culinary concept: bouillabaisse only! (There a “Plat du Jour” but this isn’t relevant.)
Bouillabaisse is a fish soup with added fish and seafood. At Tetou you have the choice to select for example only fish or seafood. 50 or 60 years ago, you probably got almost all seafood still from the Mediterranean sea. They add potatoes and serve Rouille which is usually a sharp garlic cream.
And this bouillabaisse is really excellent! Intensive taste, rich with flavors, a little bit spicy and not too fishy. Even it is a very rich dish, the soup is comparatively light. If the price of ca €180 which you must pay for only one portion of bouillabaisse doesn’t spoil your appetite, you will definitely enjoy it completely.
In keeping with the concept of the restaurant, the wine list is small; the prices for wine 15% higher than at any other place.
After you had your fish soup you can get a classic “home-made” dessert.
Simple again: some kind of French cruller, sugared and served with jams, marmalade and cream. Delicious indeed, heavy as well and very sweet.
You may think you would have an unlimited budget since you have a great deal with your bank! You need to have great deal with “Tetou” – since they let you pay only in cash. After the massive dessert we would have ordered a nice schnapps but our budget was spent.
I don’t think they suffer because we couldn’t effort paying for a last drink, as it is very doubtful that those revenues are reported appropriately to the tax authorities anyhow.
This restaurant is a synonym for decadence, serving one of the best bouillabaisse indeed I ever have had. For me this is too exclusive and much too much expensive, which must count significantly in evaluating this place. And because I am always (and with good reason) complaining about bad service in Southern France, at Tetou all of the service was really good!
Addition 2018: there is no Tetou at the moment because the wooden restaurant has been broken down. I do not know if there is a new one to come.