Tuesday, 01 February 2011 18:17
Twelve rocks lounge on polystyrene plates. I untether then slip their silky flesh, which doesn’t want to yield at first. As I sip their cool saline reservoir like a shot, I hardly notice that my chair perilously tips away from the counter (writes Douglas Blyde). Harvested from nearby Leucate, north of Perpignan, their ripe cucumber scented, iodine freshness mingles well with an almost translucent calcium dry white from Roussillon’s searing vineyards.
This is one breakfast I could get used to.
As I chew the final oyster, the young, whippet thin barman fires up a small grill. He is making skewers of plump pink prawns and thickly cut, moist chorizo which contrast bread spread with sharp tomato purée and sweet garlic. It is the house special he tells me in the spicy local twang. I wonder how intonations would look as sheet music. Slithers of positively fatty, hand-sliced Ibérican ham follow.
A playlist of funky, witty ‘70s tunes - jazz meets Flamenco - swirl the dark, minimal interior. By now time is extraneous. I order twelve more oysters and more Muscat and, using a plastic knife, butter closely textured bread.
Except for a fringe of blackboards, the entrance to ‘Bar Il Teatro’ appears more dissolute strip club then gourmet’s bolthole. A billowing, crimson velvet curtain cuts out some of the freezing chill from the narrow street, although it can only be a degree or two warmer within.
Full and invigorated and now at one with the day, I pay the handwritten bill (€37). The owner deposits the money in a small till propped on a chair.
Bar Il Teatro
4 Rue du Théatre