Dining in Provence, near Gordes
Renting a cottage with another couple in Provence this September, near the village of Gordes. We'll probably do a lot of cooking on premises but we're interested in one splurge-y night out---willing to drive an hour or so.
Suggestions also welcome for less spendy places in the area.
Thanks in advance!
We always enjoy a Sunday lunch at an off-the-beaten-track place near Apt. The town is Buoux and the restaurant is Auberge de la Loube. They have very good food and the atmosphere is simple and relaxing. There's another place we liked in the town of Saignon (very charming, small village) - also near Apt. The food at Auberge du Presbytère was very interesting and delicious. You might enjoy a look at a small village as Gordes tends to get a bit overrun at times... but what views!!!
I heartily recommend Auberge de la Loube, but I repeat a warning I posted the last time this came up: make a reservation for lunch or dinner, don't just show up and expect to get a table. M. de la Loube prepares enough to serve a specified number of diners and if he has that many people in the restaurant, he does not accommodate unexpected arrivals. We saw 2 couples without reservations turned away at lunch last September because he had 19 for lunch and his lunch limit is 20. What he offers in drinks and food is worth the visit.
La Bartavelle in Goult is great, and only a short drive from Gordes. We were staying in Goult a few weeks ago, and found that restaurant to be one our best all-around meals in the entire area -- excellent food at a reasonable price. The 3-course fixed price menu (including an amuse and mignardises) is 38 euros. The wine list is very reasonable. They only have about 8 tables inside, and a few more on the street in good weather. They start taking reservations exactly 1 week in advance, and fill up very quickly.
Not sure how much you want to spend on your splurge, but if you want a high-end, over-the-top food & service experience, the restaurant at Hostellerie le Phebus, (a Relais & Chateaux property in Joucas, which is right next to Gordes) would fit the bill. The restaurant (I think it's called Xavier Mathieu, named for its famed chef who is a Provence native) has 1 Michelin star and is outstanding. They have an a la carte menu plus several tasting menus. Prices vary based on which menu you use, but the medium-sized menu, 5-course tasting menu, with lots of extras, including amuses, mignardises, 5 types of breads to sample, etc., is 80 euros. The food offers modern twists on classic Provencale dishes & ingredients, which I found both really interesting and delicious. It's definitely more formal than other traditional restaurants in the area, so I'd recommend it more for a special occasion celebration versus a more casual dinner out.