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Mar 30, 2002 10:20 AM

best restaurants in aix-en-provence and avignon?

  • d

going to provence in 1 month and would like to make a few reservations for lunch and/or dinner. we will be staying in aix ,avignon, and les baux (or st. remy).
what are the most memorable/ best of the lot?

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  1. the best restaurant in avignon is le restaurant at the hotel la mirande. i have not eaten there myself but good food friends have and they love it. wonderboy chef. i've toured the hotel and it alone is worth a visit. impressive and elegant.

    then there's the restaurant/hotel l'oustau de baumaniere just below les baux. again have not eaten there but overrated and overpriced from other good food friends. the town itself is stunning as it seems to emerge from the cliffs and definitely worth a day but be forewarned that in about a month you may start to run into the tourist hordes.

    sorry to say that aix is my least favourite town in provence and have only passed through to see there is both a gap and reebok store there.

    st. remy is one of my favourites and there we loved the restaurant xa (pronounced zah) owned by a husband and wife team, she cooks while he hosts. very good inventive food influenced by their international travels.

    we also love a little crepe joint called la farandolle owned by a spunky woman everyone calls momo.

    it's just around the corner from hotel les ateliers de l'image - originally the town's music hall now transformed into a hip boutique hotel by the owners who are also photographers complete with darkrooms.

    restaurant xa
    24, blvd. mirabeau
    closed wednesdays
    tel 04 90 92 41 23

    3 Replies
    1. re: louisa

      "then there's the restaurant/hotel l'oustau de baumaniere just below les baux. again have not eaten there but overrated and overpriced from other good food friends."

      As of a couple of years ago I much preferred the neighboring Riboto de Taven at half the price and twice the charm.

      1. re: John Whiting

        I second the vote for Ribito de Taven. If you want to drive near Rousillon and Apt, there's a wonderful place for an outdoor lunch (Sundays are usually terrific). It's called Auberge de la Loube.

      2. re: louisa

        I second the recommendation of La Mirande. I became engaged there 10 years ago, and revisited it in the fall, and it was just as good--and romantic--as we remembered.

      3. Auberge de Cassagne, just outside of Avignon in Le Pontet was wonderful this summer. Had three fantastic dinners there along with top service.

        Link: http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/ho...

        1. d
          David Allardice

          I'd support the recommendations for La Mirande in Avignon, with excellent food. My only concern is that anyone who speaks English or who has a non-French name seems to be put in the secondary, less attractive dining room.

          Christian Etienne still beats Mirande for setting, and his special menus are worth trying.

          Finally, our friends in Provence have very good things to say about Compagnie des Comptoirs, the Pourcel brothers' new restaurant in Avignon, although my feeling is that with restaurants in Montpelier and Paris they may be spreading themselves somewhat thinly.