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May 23, 2007 06:49 AM

Restaurants in Tarn region

I'm going to be spending 6 weeks in the Tarn region (near Cordes-sûr-ciel, where I have bought a house in Les Cabannes) and would like to know of really goodrestaurants in the area. I'll be there from June 3 until July 15. Also... I will be driving up from barcelona so if you can recommend good restaurants along the route through Perpignan or Andorra, that would also be great!

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  1. I was just going to ask about this area, as I am leaving tomorrow for France and will end my trip with a few days in Monasties which is very close to Cordes. I have a recommendation for Espirit du Vin in Albi. Do you know about the 3 restaurants in Cordes owned by the famous chocolatier Yves Thuries..two of these have Michelin stars?

    So please, anyone with recommendations on this area......

    2 Replies
    1. re: erica

      It's called Le Grand Ecuyer. I've never been there but I hear it's really good. I will go this time. How long will you be in the area?

      1. re: ccarrion

        I have only a few (2-3) days in the area; another Thuries restaurant is Tonin Ty in the same town, Cordes.

    2. Our family has a farm where two of my uncles and wives live in the Tarn, near to the town of Lacaune. We don't get to explore the restaurants in the region as much as I would like since we generally eat with all of the family on traditional food from the region at the farm. Being a restauranteur in Sonoma County, CA, I would like to explore more and hope to do so in the future. When we were there this past January, we did eat as a group at Le Relais de Fusiès, 2 Rude de la République, Lacaune-Les-Bains. The meal was very good and I would recommend. The region is known for its charcuterie and there are several great places in the area. I would also suggest you might want to go the Michelin web site and you can do a search of recommended restaurants for the area. Forget looking for starred. I would suggest you confine your search to 3 or 4 forks or good addresses. We have generally found that to be very helpful as we travel.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pammel

        I thought the "forks" indicated how "comfortable" a restaurant was. The "stars" or the "bib" indicate the quality of the food.

        Obviously to get into the guide the restaurant needs to be good - so no bib and no stars but a fork or 5 still means it should be good food as well as comfortable. But a bib (or star) plus the forks will mean it is even better.

        1. re: PhilD

          I just have generally found that in rural areas especially that when a restaurant cares enough about what they do to get forks from Michelin that generally the food is above average and many times very good. Not always the case unfortunately in Paris or other large towns based upon my experience.

          1. re: Pammel

            I agree - if a restaurant takes a lot of care of the dining experience (especially enough to get into the guide) then it usually follows that the food is good.

            I simply wanted to point out the difference between "forks" and "stars" in the guide - in the past I have seen people get confused by the system and believe the higher number of forks indicated better food.

            1. re: PhilD

              Thank you all for the replies. I had already done the "Michelin thing" and wrote down all of the star and bib restaurants but I have gotten some more good suggestions now. I'll post my "revues" when I get back.

              1. re: ccarrion

                I'll be in Cordes this summer for a month. I'm interested in updated recommendations from posters on this thread.

      2. My last time in Albi we dined well at la Taverne in Castenau de Levis. Seems to me the table decorations were quite pretty as well.

        I live south of Perpignan. The best tables hereabout are l'Amandin in Saint-Cyprien and la Cote Vereille in Port-Vendres. In Perpignan I recommend la Galinette.

        Olot over in Spain has two very fine restaurants.

        Once again - and I'll be posting this all over this set of blogs, Gault et Millau is the guide to use for restaurants in France. Among other things it is always up-to-date (Michelin is not!) and it offers wordy descriptions.

        1. I spent today wandering around Les Cabannes and am very jealous that you have (had?) a house there. The tiny farmers market yielded homemade garlicky cucumber gazpacho, a roasted chicken, fish, cheese and some produce. The village is charming.

          I've posted about Cordes at