I posted this in another Provence thread over the summer:
The Auberge de la Fontaine in Venasque (very close to the Abbey de Senaque & Gordes) is my favorite restaurant in the area (I have had a house in the area for 25 years) (full disclosure, the chef, Christian, has become a good friend over the years). Christian's cooking is excellent, tied to the area, and is very reasonable (40 euros for 5 courses, including the most amazing cheese platter) it's not the largest (maybe 20 at any given time, but they are always the best). He even knows the goats which provide his chevre! The restaurant is very small, only about 30 seats, and he does all of the cooking himself. He is also extremely knowledgeable about food, and is happy to discuss techniques, concepts and anything else having to do with food (how it is grown, how animals are raised, etc.; he is a real student of the culinary arts). He also teaches cooking classes which are supposed to be amazing and extremely well priced (I have not attended any of his formal lessons myself, but just the other day he showed me a new way of breaking down a lobster when I stopped by - it was quite informative). Finally, he is a classical music aficionado and keeps a piano in the restaurant and on some nights invites pianists to give a concert before the meal. In such cases, you arrive around 8 and there is a one hour concert before dinner. On such nights, unlike most nights, the entire dinner is pre-set. You can find the restaurant's website here:
Mas Capoun, an extremely good value http://www.masducapoun.fr/
For a blow-the-budget meal, Oustau de Baumaniere http://www.relaischateaux.com/en/search-book/hotel-restaurant/oustau/
The pizza at Chez Cherge in Carpentras (don't bother with the rest of the menu, it's only so-so
)Gouin is a great value - La Maison Gouin
44 Route d'Apt
Phone: 04 90 76 90 18
And, for, in my opinion, the best chocolatier in Fance, Joel Durand http://www.chocolat-durand.com/fr/
Some favorites pas tre cher.Do get out your map.Try and get here while the weather is still spendid so you can dine on the terrace when available.
After you enjoy wandering the marche in Apt you can have a very pleasant lunch at
Aux Plaisirs Gourmands---it's across from the fountain opposite the Place de la Bouquerie
Pierrerue....about five min.from Forcalquier you'll find the Le Bistrot de Pierrerue which is
owned by two delightful American's.It's been Food & Wine mag.They have a terrace and do French bistro cusine. 04 92 75 33 00 Lunch & Dinner.A favorite of local expats.
Lardiers----Most famous spot in your neighborhood.Rest.de la Lavande.
04 92 73 31 52
When in Forcalquier for the excellent Mon.Marche stop into the tourist info center for a list
of Haute Provence Bistros.They're official & meet certain standards.
The Creperie in Forcalquier, Rue Cordeliers is fine.
For a change of menu from time to time you might enjoy the Taj Mahal;and Indian
rest. in Manosque.It's opposite the poste and across the place on Rue Tribunal.
When in Coustellet La Perle d' Asie has a splendid lunch of Thai things.A bargain at 9
A tour of Goult is well worth the time, and then lunch on the terrace at the Cafe de la Poste.
A fine steak frites and excellent stare value.John Malkovitch,a local, dines there from time to time.
Back up N100 and a stop in St.Michel l' observatoire where the pizza at the Pizzeria
St.Michel is fine.
The Hotel Restaurant Michel l'Observatoire has a lovely terrace and a good menu.
Have lived not far from Vacheres for years.You'll find Forcalquier and Apt and places in between to be more convenient for dinning and fine market days.Manosque does have a
For starters I can suggest Le Jardin in Viens for
a lovely lunch for 13 euros.Will get out my address book and list other affordable tables
in your neighborhood.
I am living in Provence. My current renters just stayed at the Couvent des Minimes ( a Relais and Chateaux) in Mane--close to Manosque--and said they had an incredible dinner. The hotel has a gastronomic restaurant as well as a at least one other restaurant and bar. Have heard about it from others who live part-time near Bonnieux.