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A Week In Provence- Where to Eat

Does anyone know of great restaurants in the provence region of france
any input is helpful

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  1. Provence is quite a large region. Diverse, too. What cities/towns are you planning to visit?

    7 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      i will be visiting the area around avignon for 3 days the "gorges du verdon"area for 2 days and the cote d'azure (nice, monaco) for three days
      any input helps

      1. re: CluelessChef99

        In Avignon my faves are Hièly and L'Isle Sonnante. La fourchette is also good. nearby, in St. Rémy, it's Armand Assaud, in Paradou, Bistro du Paradpu, in Eygalyères, Bistro d'Egalyières,

        Nice..... L'Ane Rouge (be sure to order your Bouillabaisse or Bourride at least one day ahead), La Merenda (have to walk by to make a reservation, no phone), Monaco, if you can afford it, Le Louis XV. I'm sure other hounds will be by with more....

        1. re: ChefJune

          thanks a lot for your helpful comments (sorry but Louis XV is too expensive)

        2. re: CluelessChef99

          There are 2 excellent restaurants in Moustiers St. Marie, Les Santons and La Treille Muscate. We were there 5 years ago, and though we also dined at Alain Ducasse's La Bastide de Moustier, we found that to be vastly inferior to the other two. It is possible that with changes of chefs it may now be worthy of its Michelin star, but my experience was burned food, tough meat, and poor service (though the atmosphere was beautiful). When you are on the Cote d'Azur you may want to try Chateau de la Chevre d'Or in Eze. Expensive but superb. For Avignon I second the recommendation of Hiely and would add Auberge de Noves, a few miles away in Noves.

          1. re: rrems

            We had the opposite experience to rrems at "La Bastide de Moustier". It was here that we had our best meal of the week that we spent in Provence and this was only last year.

            In previous years in Avignon, the best meal we had was at the "Hotel La Mirande" - classic food, simply executed. We also ate at "Christiane Etienne" which was good, although a little over produced, and "Hielly-Lucullus" which was distinctly average - quite old fashioned in many respects.

            1. re: rrems

              In spring of 2008 we had an unremarkable meal at Les Santons and was latter told by our hotel owner that the chef had moved to La Ferme Ste Cecile (http://www.ferme-ste-cecile.com) which we visited this summer for a fabulous dinner and great suggested wines for a very good price. Memory fades but I remember olive ice cream and sardines for an entree.

              1. re: mcolonne

                We stayed not far from Avignon, and had our best meal in a small restaurant in Beaucet - Auberge du Beaucet. Well worth the trip, a charming restaurant in a beautiful little hilltop village. The restaurant has a small outside patio, but we dined inside and watched the approach of a thunderstorm over the mountains -- fantastic! The food was delicious, and since we don't speak French and server knew only a little English, we weren't certain what we were ordering! But, every course was outstanding.

        3. We too will be spending some time in Provence, beginning next week, as part of our trip. We have an apartment in St-Remy for a week and have a good list of places we want to eat at in that area.

          Our first two nights of this trip are being spent in Cassis. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to eat? So far I have read more good than bad about Nino, Romano, Clos Du Aromas, and Bonaparte. Since the first two are on the harbor and good rule of thumb is "the better the view, the worse the food" I am leaning toward the latter two. We have a few pricey meals scheduled later in our trip and we will still be jet lagged I have ruled out Villa Madie. Is there anywhere else in town I should consider for a dinner? I am interested in Bouillabaisse, is there a passable one to be had in Cassis? I have search this forum and found very little about Cassis, any help will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FairfaxCA

            Fairfax,
            Can you share your St-Remy resto list with your recommendations please.

          2. I love Cassis and have been there multiple times during the past two years. In my opinion, you go for the calanques and pretty village and relaxation; not the food. There are a number of restaurants along the marina/water that serve Bouillabaisse including Nino. They are ok, not the best by far. There are several very good wineries located above the village that produce very good white and rose wine which are worth the trip to the area. The best in my opinion is Domaine de Paternel and Chateau Madelaine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pammel

              Thank you, Pammel. You have confirmed my thought that Cassis will be a pretty place to get over jet lag. We arrive at the Marseille airport near 5pm so a trip to the Calanques, relaxing, and 2 dinners (not expecting anything great, but hopefully fresh seafood) is our plan. Since we will be going into Ciotat early to get sim cards for our phones maybe we can stop at Dom. Paternal & Ch. Ste-Madeline on our return before the boat ride. Both wineries are on my GPS, how handy.

              1. re: FairfaxCA

                If you haven't already done so, take the "Route des Crêtes" road into the hills between Cassis and Ciotat. Beautiful views and many stops to enjoy them from.

                When we were in Cassis in September, there were so many tourists there taking boat rides that we were unable to find a parking space anywhere in the town and we wound up on this road by accident, but the views were great!

            2. Les Clos de la Violette in Aix en Provence! We just happen to find this place and it is amazing. I know at that time it had a Michelin star, it may have gotten another. The pigeon and the foie gras were incredible. The wine list was just as good and the service very warm, very friendly and the atmosphere was the same.

              3 Replies
              1. re: emn76

                i have just got back from a truffle hunting weekend organised by La Mirande in Avignon - to say the food was sublime was an understatement! i would advise any food lovers to at least visit la mirande- I cooked in the kitchen with one of the head chefs, and i must say it iwas one of the most amazing experiences!
                otherwise Bistro du Paradou is brilliant - i went passed this weekend though and it looked closed so try call before you go. And La Place in Maussane has a michelin star i think and i have spend a couple of indulgent new years eves here, but again it looked like it may have been shut for feb.
                Also, le Cabre d'or in les baux was fantastic, amazing service and top quality food - i ate there the day after my wedding last year and sat in the most anmazing garden settings (may be too cold for that at the mo!).

                1. re: justmarried

                  Good to hear another recommendation for La Mirande, it was out best meal in Avignon, but very rarely mentioned by others,

                  1. re: justmarried

                    I also liked La Cabro d'Or, but was even more impressed by La Feniere in Lourmarin. There I had a delicious cold concoction of oysters in jelly, a generous slab of the most succulent veal imaginable, and a very agreeable wine called Le C de Camplong.

                    My favorite restaurant in that region was Edouard Loubet's in Lourmarin, but since then he has moved to La Bastide de Capelongue at Bonnieux (I think at least 5 years have elapsed since the last time I was in Provence). Loubet is a sort of Provencal version of Marc Veyrat (they once worked together, until Veyrat threw Loubet's knives on the floor in a fit of anger); both are temperamental skiers who make inventive use of many local plants and herbs. In my opinion Veyrat has gone, er, downhill since his dreadful skiing accident, but I imagine Loubet is still in top form.

                    I was disappointed by La Bastide de Moustiers--a very humdrum meal, of which I remember only some nondescript piece of meat with brown gravy and mushrooms.

                2. Le Vieux Castillon--Castillon du Gard, near the Pont du Gard, edging away from Provence proper but close enough. Charming hotel in hilltop village and really wonderful restaurant, with food produced in a kitchen and not a chemistry lab. I've lived 30 years in the area, eaten most everywhere, and it's my best meal memory. Enjoy you trip!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: johnmarseille

                    "Castillon du Gard"

                    Enchanting village too.

                  2. Gorges du Verdon sounds like you will be in or near Moustiers. I second the Les Santons restaurant mentioned before.

                    In Nice, on of the best places is Millesime 82, and also Luc Salsedo. Keisuke Matsushima is also good (It's French).

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: menton1

                      I'm really excited to see such an active board and so many recommendations. I'm heading to Provence in June and am definitely looking for a few good recommendations for dinners and lunches. I'm going with my wife, we are in our early 30s and love a wide variety of food. We will be spending 2 nights in Nice, 4 nights in St. Remy and 2 nights in Eze. We intend to visit the L'Ousteau de Baumaniere for one special dinner and then would like to have one more very nice dinner. After that would love to get some recommendations on small bistros, some local places that have simple Provencal cuisine and good wine lists.

                      1. re: edible n

                        For the other "very nice dinner" while in St Rémy, I would recommend l'Atelier Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles, or the Bastide de Capelongue in Bonnieux (fabulous view!) - both 2 Michelin stars. For something less expensive but in a glorious setting, I would suggest la Bastide de Marie in Ménerbes - if the weather holds up (no rain or wind), dinner will be served by their vineyard. As for more low key - but excellent - restaurants in your area, you can easily get to le Bistrot du Paradou (in Le Paradou) and le Mas de Capoun (in Mollégès). A little further out: Auberge du Parc in Orgon, Auberge de Cheval Blanc in Cheval-Blanc. Always book ahead. I'll leave Nice & Eze suggestions to those more familiar with that part of Provence.
                        Oh - and don't miss the WED market in St Rémy. IMO one of the best in the area.

                        1. re: boredough

                          I think that the Bistrot du Paradou is a must. It is a legend, for better or worse, and really singular. No-choice menu which varies by day of the week (49€ at last visit) brings a choice of two starters, normally only one main (such as local cut-with-your-fork tender lamb or, on Fridays, the grande aoili), a generously left at your table cheese plateau and several simple but correct desserts plus a bottle of local wine for two people to share. Call ahead to see what is being served on the days you might be visiting, and do make a reservation when you choose your day.

                          For a number of years we made an effort to have lunch here on Easter Monday, always a special time for us.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            I have heard that LOustalon in Mausanne les Alipilles is worth a visit. Anyone on this board eaten there.
                            I am thinking of staying for eight days in St-Remy at Le mas des carassins, and taking their half board offer of four suppers, leaving the other four for restos in the area.

                            1. re: upupaway

                              No, we've not eaten at L'Oustalon. We have had lunch at nearby Chez Bru. It was quite enjoyable, but not magic. The rest of the world seems to love it. For what it's worth: http://www.chezbru.com/

                              1. re: mangeur

                                I don't know anything about l'Oustaloun either, but would like to comment on Chez Bru in Eygalières. We've been there 3 times, the last time several years ago on one of our anniversaries (when the service was a bit put off). Since then, we haven't heard very good things about it and have not been back. If there was magic, it seems to be gone. Anyway, it's not inexpensive enough to take another chance.