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Provence 2011

Six ladies will be renting a house in Cucuron for 2 weeks next September. We will lkely
be touring by day and eating most evening meals at home ( to avoid driving having to curtail our wine consumption ). I am looking for restaurant suggestions - mostly for
lunches - if dinner must be w/in 15 minute drive. We are interested in maybe one or two high price tag meals but for the rest we'd prefer to go to more reasonable spots with good local flavor.
Also looking for best local "super" markets.

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  1. La Fenière in Lourmarin is superb. Reine Sammut is one of the best woman chefs in France. The cuisine is based on the region. Have the big menu. It will just meet your fifteen minute test, although the road is a but twisty.

    1. I was recently in Avignon and if you decide to go there, I'd recommend getting food at les Halles, the covered market there, and taking it up to the Rocher des Doms park for a picnic. We got some nice olives (according to the olive-lover I was with), savory tarts, cheese and terrine. It's a fun way to try a lot of things without going to huge expense.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LiaM

        The HyperU market in Pertuis is the largest in the area.

        Right in Cucuron is a top restaurant, La Petite Maison.

        http://www.lapetitemaisondecucuron.com/

        Another nice restaurant in Cucuron is L'Horloge.

        Next September, wow, that's certainly planning ahead!

      2. La Fenière is indeed a great restaurant, but you might want to consider Sammut's lower-key, less expensive La Cour de Ferme. Same telephone #; same property.
        Other suggestions are:
        Domaine de la Coquillade in Gargas (beautiful Relais & Château w/winery
        La Flambée in Bonnieux - great pizzas - try to sit upstairs on the terrace overlooking the valley
        L'Arôme in Bonnieux
        Restaurant du Lac in la Motte d'Aigues
        Bastide de Capelongue in/overlooking Bonnieux - expensive (2 Michelin stars)
        La Closerie in Ansouis
        Le Castelas in Sivèrgues - this is in fact a farm (w/goats & pigs that roam around) at the end of a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere, but worth the trip along the very winding road to Sivèrgues. Food is served family style at long tables - delicious roast pig accompanied by various appetizers, goat cheeses made from their goats, tolerable red wine & dessert. Not sure, but the pig might be served only at dinner, in which case you should find a way to go at night. Dinner is €30 ; lunch should be €25/person - cash only. A real Provençal experience.
        Don't miss the Lourmarin market on Fridays, particularly the fishmonger. Best markets are Aix-en-Provence on Thursdays & Saturdays (and Tuesdays, but there may be fewer vendors) - they're spread out over several "places" (squares) so be prepared to walk!
        Have a great trip.

        1. We were there last month, staying in the nearby village of Vaugines. Lunch or dinner in Cucuron is a wonderful experience, at Petite Maison or other village options. There was a market on Monday. The local caveau has a nice selection of reasonably priced wines.

           
          1. Merci bien to all of you for the info. Yes I am planning ahead quite a bit = but once the
            hefty deposit was made on the house it's become a reality and we are all very
            excited.

            On another note: any suggestions for the best wineries to visit ?

            5 Replies
            1. re: harlingham

              Val Joanis is not far from Cucuron. Besides its good wines, it also has a beautiful garden. And hurry up; it was discovered by A Bourdain arleady !
              In and around Cucuron there is no worry about eating badly. Besides it is a very pretty village that is not as overrun as the other Luberon villages. Bravo, good choice.

              1. re: harlingham

                As per my earlier post, Domaine de la Coquillade (Gargas) includes a winery (called Aureto). The property is beautiful, so I'd suggest going there in the morning, and then, weather permitting, having lunch at their Jardin dans les Vignes, which overlooks the vineyard. The wines are very good yet reasonably priced.

                1. re: boredough

                  There are no "best" wineries. If you have a car, you will see many signs for "Cave" on the roads, just pull in, there will be complimentary tastings, and you can purchase if you liked the wine. (Cotes du Luberon AOC) The vignerons at these places can be very chatty and friendly.

                  There are also cooperatives that sell wine "en vrac", from something like a gasoline pump. These can actually be quite good, and very economical. (They also have bottled wine) One of our favorites is the Marrenon coop in La Tour d'Aigues. There's another one in Lourmarin, on the market square, Tambour d'Arcole. The stores that these co-ops sell out of are very spiffy.

                  If you want high end and famous, you're not that far from the Chateauneuf du Pape area, although these wines are available everywhere, no real need to go to the Cave.

                  1. re: menton1

                    <If you want high end and famous, you're not that far from the Chateauneuf du Pape area, although these wines are available everywhere, no real need to go to the Cave.>

                    Except that the view from the ruins of the Pope's summer palace is worth a trip. Not to mention it's a great place for a picnic, with some of the local wine you pick up during your tastings. ;)

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I agree the view is wonderful but when we were there this past September we experienced the mistral and you could have been blown off of the knoll while enjoying your picnic.