While on vacation in Paris this past spring, we went to Le Tete Dans les Olives for dinner one night. We were not sure what to expect before arriving, and we had no idea we were going to stumble upon one of the best eating experiences of our lives around a small wooden table in a dimly lit, narrow room. Le Tête dans les Olives redefines the new and blossoming casual dining experience in Paris and strips down the formality of restaurant eating. The restaurant has one table and one chef; serving one dinner per night. Chef Tommaso greeted us when we arrived and worked at a chef station situated at the edge of our table. We casually chatted and got to know each other as he prepared various small dishes. Each course was better than the last; from the Scilian dried tuna, caper stuffed mushrooms, oranges and anchovies salad.
What was remarkable about this experience was the connection and conversation we were able to have with Tommaso as he prepared the dishes. This is something that does not exist in traditional, restaurant style eating. Typically, the customer does not have the opportunity to enjoy their meal while speaking directly to the person who created it. We were able to talk about the freshness of the vegetables, the uniqueness of the dried tuna and how it was prepared. Slowly the strangeness of eating a meal in front of a stranger dissolved and it felt as though we were eating with a friend. The real beauty of this experience is that it brings food back to the basics; it brings people around a table, inspires conversation and creates a connection with someone who was a complete stranger to you hours before. La Tete Dans les Olives left a lasting impression on us and gave us an experience we will never forget.