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great restaurant in Provence hotel?

sarapeater Apr 28, 2008 05:34 AM

I'm looking for something like this:
(which I'm told is really great), elsewhere in Provence? Maybe something slightly more East or South. Preferably somewhere less quiet (than Collias) to walk around after dinner.

  1. m
    maxouille Jan 6, 2009 11:22 AM

    one of my favorites restaurant in Provence is "Chez Serge" (http://www.chez-serge.com/) in Carpentras, it's east from Avignon. The city is not very beautiful, but the restaurant is worth the visit, not only for the decoration and ambient but also for the exceptional good food. It change from all the tourist places that you can find in Provence. Bon appétit.

    1. Ken Fox Oct 27, 2008 02:38 PM

      I found this place (le Castellas) in the online Michelin red guide a few days ago and on the spur of the moment made a reservation to stay there and to have dinner, which was 4 days ago. The town is quite charming, there are hiking trails nearby, and the restaurant was excellent for a one star. I will be back.

      Ken Fox

      1. PhilD Jun 5, 2008 05:25 AM

        Here are three that you may wish to consider, all owned by Alain Ducasse. I have stayed at Bastide-Moustiers and it was really good, a very good meal in the restaurant, very comfortable room, and overall a stylish hotel. It was great for exploring the eastern side of Provence especiallt the Les Gorges de Verdun.


        I have not been to the other two properties but they look interesting - I believe you used to be able to get packages to stay in more than one as you tour around.


        3 Replies
        1. re: PhilD
          rrems Jun 5, 2008 08:43 PM

          We dined at both Bastide and La Celle several years ago. Bastide was a big disappointment. One dish was burnt, another (lamb) gristly and overcooked, and the chocolate chip cookies served as mignardides were like Chips Ahoy. Service was spacey. By contrast, our lunch at La Celle (where the chef from Bastide had gone) was excellent. You have to watch out with Ducasse's restaurants. Chefs come and go, and the quality at any given time depends on who is running the kitchen, as le monsieur himself is nowhere to be found.

          1. re: rrems
            PhilD Jun 5, 2008 11:49 PM

            We were there in Feb '07, it seems like they got their act together because it was the best meal of the weeks trip across eastern Provence, in fact the whole hotel experience was very good.

            Ducasse does move his staff around, so it's no surprise the chef from Bastide had moved to Le Celle. For example our sommelier at Benoit had just finished a stint at Plaza Athenee, and she was very good.

            But it is always a risk with recommendations, especially when we don't live in cities and, thus don't have that immediate connection with the dining scene.

            1. re: PhilD
              Fay Jun 14, 2008 05:54 PM

              This is probably too late to help the original poster, but I have to say that we had a wonderful stay at La Bastide des Moustiers in July 2006. The food was extraordinary - not just dinner (I still remember the gelee of rabbit with herbs, served in a tiny creuset pot) but also lunch, which was a wonderful salade composee of shaved vegetables with a tapenade dressing. Service was excellent. We had a minor medical emergency that required a doctor at 7 a.m. and guess what - they found one! Really a memorable place in all respects.

        2. w
          whatsfordinner Jun 3, 2008 12:54 PM

          We really enjoyed our stay at Les Carmes, just outside of Isle sur la Sorgue. The owner's son trained with a michelin-starred chef and his dinners were amazing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: whatsfordinner
            cyssf Aug 16, 2010 07:14 AM

            I agree. We stayed there 3-4 years ago and it is TripAdvisors #1 B&B for Provence and in my opinion deservedly so. Beautiful grounds, large rooms. The meals were excellent although I don't think the son has croissants down yet, too soft, not crispy/flaky. The other meals were superb and you can take cooking lessons. We ate many dinners there because it was so good and relatively inexpensive which surprised me because I was planning on searching out more restaurants in Provence. The English owners were wonderful hosts. Overall a charming experience.

          2. LulusMom Jun 1, 2008 03:57 AM

            You might want to try the hotel/restaurant at Le Prieure in Villeneuve les Avignon, just across the river from Avignon. We've had two wonderful meals there, and the setting is beautiful. The town is tiny, but there is a little square you can walk to where you can sit and have a drink after dinner. Here is the link: http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/ho.... The restaurant had 2 michelin stars ... not sure if it still does.

            4 Replies
            1. re: LulusMom
              ChefJune Jun 1, 2008 09:03 AM

              mmm.. that link doesn't work

              1. re: ChefJune
                LulusMom Jun 1, 2008 09:35 AM

                Drats, sorry about that. Lets try just the link to the hotel and then just click on the restaurant part. If this doesn't work I'll see if I can find something else:

                1. re: LulusMom
                  ChefJune Jun 1, 2008 08:54 PM

                  Wow! now THAT is lovely.

                2. re: ChefJune
                  LulusMom Jun 1, 2008 09:48 AM

                  and here I've found the hotel's own website (which is in French):


              2. zuriga1 Apr 29, 2008 09:08 AM

                Castillion Du Gard is another lovely town.. not far from Uzes. There's a good hotel there with beautiful views and excellent food. I think it's part of the Chateaux et Relais chain or used to be a few years ago. Right down the road is le Pont du Gard - something everyone going to Provence should see.

                1 Reply
                1. re: zuriga1
                  heathera May 7, 2008 06:05 AM

                  We stayed at this B & B in 2000 ... it's been a while, but we stayed for a week after our wedding and loved it. It's located in Lagnes not far from Bonnieux, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, etc. We picked it primarily b/c the owners are a restaurant family, and the food did not disappoint. Amazing and copious breakfasts outside and excellent fixed price (optional) dinners.


                2. souphie Apr 28, 2008 07:21 PM

                  Do you include the riviera?

                  1. ChefJune Apr 28, 2008 07:08 AM

                    That link led nowhere... and what or where is "Collias?"

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune
                      sarapeater Apr 28, 2008 08:27 AM

                      try this:
                      I believe Collias is just west of Avignon

                      1. re: sarapeater
                        souvenir Apr 28, 2008 09:07 AM

                        Price range? Sky's the limit or ?

                        1. re: sarapeater
                          ChefJune Apr 28, 2008 09:22 AM

                          <try this:
                          I believe Collias is just west of Avignon> Interesting. Learn something new every day! I've been to Avignon many times and never even heard of Collias.

                          There are a couple of hotels/restaurants similar to this in Avignon... Christian-Etienne comes to mind. then, of course in Les Baux is the famous (and wonderful) L'Ousteau de Baumaniere, and the less famous but also wonderful Le Riboto de Taven.

                          1. re: ChefJune
                            sarapeater Apr 28, 2008 09:31 AM

                            thanks. I guess the sky is the limit as far as food is concerned (at least for a meal or two)

                            I'm specifically looking for wonderful (as ChefJ says) and not completely secluded. I'll be there on a wed or thurs in May

                            1. re: sarapeater
                              souvenir Apr 28, 2008 10:37 AM

                              Les Baux also came to mind came immediately to mind for the food options, but based on what you described, it doesn't seem quite right. L'Oustau and Riboto are both in the valley looking up at Les Baux, and each have lovely grounds. Then you would either walk up or make a short drive up to Les Baux. At night it really clears out (which I love) but it doesn't sound as though that is the atmosphere you want.

                              Avignon and Aix-en-Provence are both lovely to walk around after dinner. Not clear if you want towns as large as these? Or perhaps you have been to Avignon and want a new location?

                              1. re: souvenir
                                sarapeater Apr 28, 2008 02:38 PM

                                thanks. if I was not alone L'Oustau or Riboto would be great, but you're right, souvenir, that I should be focusing on places like Avignon and Aix-en-P. I have not been to either one. Maybe I should focus on sleeping in Aix

                                someone recommended Hôtel du Général d'Entraigues in Uzes, but I'm not sure about their restaurant.

                                1. re: sarapeater
                                  beaulieu Apr 29, 2008 05:29 AM

                                  For you I would suggest Avignon and Arles, which are more interesting for a tourist than Aix. In Arles stay at the very old Hotel d'Arlatan and eat at L'Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel.

                            2. re: ChefJune
                              sarapeater May 3, 2008 12:29 PM

                              Let's talk about Christian Etienne, D'Europe and La Mirande.
                              Lunch in Avignon? Which one is the best bang for the buck? The best? The most convenient for a post lunch (or pre) stroll?

                              1. re: sarapeater
                                ChefJune May 3, 2008 08:22 PM

                                If you posted their addresses, it would make that assessment easier for me, at least.... I'm not sure about Christian Étienne's location.

                                1. re: ChefJune
                                  sarapeater May 4, 2008 08:38 AM

                                  Restaurant Christian Etienne - 10 rue de Mons
                                  D'Europe - 1 A, Rue Limas
                                  La Mirande - 4, place de la Mirande (also has a little cooking school)

                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                    Crisco Dec 31, 2008 12:41 PM

                                    Since Le Mirande was just brought up, I have a question about the Table d'Hote Has anyone been to the Tues/Wed Chef Table at Le Mirande? If so how would you rate it? Recently got a response from another website and they were underwhelmed with the experience. I'm not willing to give up my plan unless it gets hammered down again.

                                    1. re: Crisco
                                      ChefJune Jan 1, 2009 08:01 AM

                                      I've never dined at La Mirande at all, so can't give you an opinion. Sorry.

                                      1. re: Crisco
                                        PhilD Jan 2, 2009 06:15 AM

                                        A couple of years ago we enjoyed a very good meal in the garden at Le Mirande. If we visited Avignon again this would be the only restaurant I would try again - we ate at the others including other starred ones. Le Mirande rarely gets mentioned on the boards, which is a shame (or maybe a good thing) as it has more style and substance than a lot of the other places.

                                        We obviously didn't try the Chefs Table but given our experience it could be good.

                                    2. re: sarapeater
                                      nealrover May 7, 2008 02:32 AM

                                      Consider La Fourchette on Rue Racine for lunch.
                                      Just off the Popes Palace square and handy for a stroll up to the park area to the side and above the Palace.
                                      The extra cost of the three you suggest may make a evening dinner reservation more suitable.
                                      La Fourchette has a very high standard of cooking and make a great value and memorable lunch stop.

                                      1. re: nealrover
                                        sarapeater May 7, 2008 05:34 AM

                                        are you saying the lunch and dinner prices will be the same? lunch is often a better value. is that not the case here?

                                        1. re: sarapeater
                                          nealrover May 7, 2008 07:17 AM

                                          The prices seem to be constant here lunch or dinner. They don't have many lunch specials but offer a very attractive reasonably priced carte. It has a family connection with the gourmet HIELY LUCULLUS restaurant in Avignon and is managed by a female member of that family.
                                          It is a restaurant that I tend to "pigeonhole" into a lunch venue as we enjoy it for that and then relax with a stroll afterwards. I would certainly consider it for dinner if I was staying in Avignon itself.
                                          The other restaurants I would think of more for a special occation or a splurge and if I was doing that I would want an evening table - perhaps next year for our 30th!
                                          We will be eating at La Fourchette in a week or so - if you want I can certainly let you know more about the lunch/dinner menu cost.
                                          Lunch reservations at La Fourchette we have found to be essential.
                                          Christian Etienne looks the part if you are wanting a special dining experience and is right next to the Popes Palace so has a wonderful setting. Check out their menues and location:
                                          I am sure someone can give you a food review!
                                          Hope this helps and makes sense!

                                        2. re: nealrover
                                          ChefJune May 7, 2008 07:52 AM

                                          I thought La Fourchette is off the Place de l'Horloge. When did it move over by the Papal Palace?

                                          Hiely is one of my favorite places in Provence, but it's not a hotel restaurant. Neither is L'Isle Sonnante, which is also a favorite. (and is about a block further in from La Fourchette.)

                                          1. re: ChefJune
                                            nealrover May 7, 2008 08:11 AM

                                            It is on the same street as L'Isle Sonnante.
                                            To me it is just off the square as I was referring to the short distance involved rather than a precise location. I did say Rue Racine.

                                            1. re: nealrover
                                              sarapeater May 7, 2008 03:17 PM

                                              thanks. glad you let me know - I def assumed lunch/dinner had different menus/prices.
                                              I'll need a res for weekday lunch?

                                              1. re: sarapeater
                                                rrems May 7, 2008 08:21 PM

                                                Avignon is a very busy place. I would reserve for weekday lunch, or face disappointment. It's been many years, but I had an absolutely wonderful lunch at Hiely. The owners were very friendly and helpful, and the food and service were impeccable.

                                        3. re: sarapeater
                                          cyssf May 31, 2008 06:31 AM

                                          We just returned from Provence. Christian Etienne is right next to the Palais du Papes so very convenient . The service was outstanding and the food one of my most memorable meals in France (after Joel Robuchon's Jamin many years ago). We had lunch for about $240 and worth every dollar. Many inventive amuse bouches such as finely minced apples with a light wasabi dressing, rhubarb served several ways. Unfortunately I have misplaced the menu they give you with the check so can't give more details until I find it.

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