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Aug 8, 2011 08:51 PM

Provence restaurant recommendations_Arles and Cassis

We will be spending a week in Provence, mainly centered in Arles, Saint Remy and Cassis.
Although recommendations in the forums for Saint Remy are plenty, there is very little information on Arles (other than Rabanel's Le Atelier which most recommend) and Cassis.

For Saint Remy we already plan to go to Bistrot du Paradou and Mas Toureton......

Could you please recommend us some places that are in Arles and Cassis with not a budget in mind? We are open for a splurge if it is well recomended.

We have been trying to look for information and would love your input to plan our days.

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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  1. Rabanel had some excellent courses (they serve approx 15 small plates) but some were a bit too experimental/strange, particularly the tomato-focused desserts. Extremely expensive. Consider le cilantro instead. Avoid place du forum. In st remy area you are right to go to bistrot du paradou. Consider having more than one meal there (eg one lunch, one dinner on different days). In cassis try la stazione which has some of the best pizza and pasta (get the amatriciana) that I have had in france (or italy for that matter--the chef is from naples).

    1. We are in Cassis three or four times a year. We have never had a good meal on the waterfront. However, back in April, we had a very good lunch at Fleurs et Thym and then in July at Le Bonaparte. Both restaurants are located around the corner from each other a block or so off the water front. Both restaurants are long time fixtures in Cassis and owned by their chefs. This is not Michelin star dining nor is there a view of the sea but they are far and away the best meals we have had so far in Cassis and we will definitely return

      1. For Arles: Rabanel is very good and a lot of fun, we had a 2.5 hour lunch there and it was a great way to spend the afternoon. I would highly recommend Chez Bob, which is about 20-25 minutes out of town but well worth the effort to get there. Reservations are a must but the food and the setting are awesome.

        For the St. Remy are I would recommend Mas du Capoun in Molleges which is about a 10 minute drive, good food and a beautiful dining area.

        For Cassis, I have dined at Villa Madie which is a beautiful restaurant and has great views of the water. Food was good, but expensive, but an overall great experience.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hamcolvard

          Thank you so much Degustazione, Pammel and Hamcolvard!!!
          Your suggestions are all great and we have now several places to choose from!

          One question that you might help us with.....If you had to choose between Bistrot du paradou for dinner or lunch which one woud you pick?................and does the Bistrot outshine the Mas Touteron or La ferme de la Huppe for dinner time around the Gordes area. I would loke to hear your opinions about these 3 great places.

          Would deifntely appreciatte other Cassis or Arles recommendations and we will post back on our return trip.

          1. re: mgross07

            I'm not absolutely sure, but believe the meal at Bistrot du Paradou is exactly the same for lunch & dinner, except for maybe a slight price differential (43€ vs 49€). (We've been going there for dinner only these past 10 years or so, a few lunches before then.) Note that they serve dinner Tues-Sat "in season" (approx June thru Sept), and only Fri/Sat the rest of the year. Lunch is served Tues-Sat as well. I've never been to Tourteron so cannot make comparisons (see for some discussion), but did return to Ferme de la Huppe about 3 weeks ago, and had a great meal. It is definitely a more refined cooking than Paradou, but the latter is like being invited into someone's home in terms of ambiance & set meal (which includes wine + cheese course). We had a great meal there as well just 2 weeks ago. If I had to choose between the 3 (based on my experiences & the CH comments), I'd pick Paradou for dinner, especially if staying in St Rémy.

        2. Just back from a quick weekend in Arles, where we loved le Cilantro. Very deserving of its one Michelin star. If the weather permits, eat outdoors. As someone else advises, avoid la Place du Forum, but, we've had good luck for casual lunches at many little back street places. Aside from a couple of obvious spots, Arles is a town with tourists that manages somehow to be un-"touristy." Don't miss the photo shows, if you're there before mid-September. The best deal is to get a one-day pass for 27 euros; if you're going to visit the shows for more than one day (very tempting and possible), get the 35 euro pass. Enjoy your trip!

          4 Replies
          1. re: johnmarseille

            Here are a few more:

            Bistrodu Paradou - it is different at lunch, call them and they will tell you what's on the menu o each day
            Mas Du Capon - try book in advance as I found it hard to get a able last time I was there
            Cabro D'or michelin dining in beautiful surroundings in Les Baux, up th road from the Bistro. I ha a very special meal here - my husband propsed on the top of the fortress on Les Baux and we Went here later. Very romanic - make sure to sit on the terrace
            Oustau de Baumniere - aother mchelin star, very expensive, vry beautiful in Les Baux also.
            La Place - in the square in Maussane, i think it has a star? Lovely staff, ask for a table in the square
            Bistro Decoverte in St Remy is small and quaint, great steak tartare, great manager
            Jean Luc Rabanel in Arles is skilled cooking but the 13 courses was too decedant - I couldnt finish them.

              1. re: justmarried

                re Bistrot du Paradou: Sorry for confusion, but when mgross asked whether to choose lunch or dinner, my comment was referring to the fact that lunch is not a smaller, simpler meal, but in fact the same number of courses & quantity/quality of food (which I thought was the point of the question). The actual dishes may not be the same, but the amount of satisfaction should be. Again, sorry I was not clearer.

                1. re: boredough

                  Well, perhaps I am too late but I can help a bit with suggestions for Arles and maybe a few others.

                  As I just mentioned on another post, I am currently loving L'Autruche in the rue Dulau but I prefer to go for lunch as I feel that they are pricey for dinner. I was just there on Saturday and was delighted by my meal: coco beans with fresh crab and agrumes to start followed by a duo of fish with a brilliant green basilic sauce and grilled veggies. The host felt that our portions were a bit small and so sent out another plate for us. Lovely.

                  I also prefer Le Cilantro for lunch but only because the ambiance is more pleasant. Perfect service.

                  For a casual evening, there is a nice courtyard at Querida for tapas, similarly Chez Ariane when there is a jazz/manouche trio on the weekends.

                  Rabanel is still the best meal that I have ever had here and I do believe worth the splurge although the experience is very specific and not everyone's cup of tea. I would go the evening and enjoy!

                  I love the square in Maussane and would recommend either La Place or L'Oustaloun depending on the weather.

                  I personally can't justify the prices at L'Oustau de Baumaniere but if you can, the Wahid brothers are doing wonderful work there.

                  One other idea: Sous les Micocouliers in Eygalieres (close to St Remy) for its gorgeous setting and fresh food (young chef trained at Robuchon, Ducasse and Senderens).