although i realize there is crap/bad food available everywhere, i have never had bad food in italy,spain or france. ymmv. the entire cooking ethos is based on what is freshest that day, and letting it shine. it doesn't need a million spices or herbs or heavy sauce.
on a tasting menu once in alsace, i had this poached egg dish that i still dream about because the egg was so ethereal.
whenever i come back, i have trouble recalibrating my palate because everything here is "just too much." we ordered in thai food one night after a long trip back from spain and i couldn't get past a bite of it.
As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.
– Ernest Hemingway