Restaurants Suggestions for Bordeaux and Provence
My wife and I are going to France in about three weeks for two weeks...Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Provence, Burgundy. I have found plenty of suggestions for dining in Burgundy but having trouble with suggestions for Bordeaux and Provence. We are both foodies and wine lovers preferring light lunches and great dinners. Any suggestions appreciated!!
In Avignon--go to "83 Vernet"--that's both it's name and address.
Jaw droppingly gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. In a cloister converted to a restaurant--lovely inner courtyard, stonewalls, arches, candles everywhere.
Not that that matters--it's about the food first. The food is just as terrific.
It's worth driving to Avignon from other parts of Provence even if you are not right in Avignon.
Went there in the Fall (second visit to restaurant over a 3 year period fronm trip to trip. We went back to Avignon on our second trip just for this restaurant.) and had their three course pre-fixe.
We were given wonderful little amuse bouches, the three courses and some lovely litte somethings to end the meal. I recall that I had the gravlax to start--it was so succulent and fresh (despite the curing!) it was like sashimi--only the best salmon sahimi I'd ever had--and I loves me some salmon! I'd have to go home and look at my pictures to remember my and Dcs' meals--but we loved them all. and the environment. It's liek your in restaurant heaven--just go!!
We have found that, unless you are in a fancy 3-starred restaurant, most men are dressed in nice slacks or nice jeans and button-down shirts. The atmosphere tends to be relatively casual in the provinces & my husband has never felt out of place without a jacket. Besides that, air conditioning is not a guarantee in restaurants and it's getting too hot to even think about too many layers.
Then I would recommend the following restaurants:
La Ferme de la Huppe in Gordes
L'Auberge des Carrieres in les Taillades
L'Arôme in Bonnieux
Chez Etienne (for Provençal pizza) in Marseille
Chez Fonfon (for Bouillabaisse) in Marseille
Le Café des Epices in Marseille
le Formal in Aix-en-Provence
Be sure to check closing days (they vary tremendously) and book in advance. Have a great trip!
In the Luberon I love L'arome and Bartavelle. Had a dinner recently at LA Ferme de la Huppe which was just ok: boring cabbage soup as a little starter; the vegetables "conservees en huile" were actually soaked in vinegar, but had a good daube. My friend liked her foie gras but found her fish ordinary.
In Marseille love Cafe des Epices, and Chez Etienne--you feel like you are in Italy. Great casual ambiance, with friendly marseillais sitting next to you.
43 rue de Lorette. This can be tough to find the first time. Go to 51 rue de la Republique, and enter the passage. Go up the steps; you will be in a little COUR; continue, and you end up right in front of the resto. Otherwise you can look for the restaurant if you are already in the panier.
No phone, no reservations.
Payment in Cash or French check
Choice of pizza toppings is only anchovies or cheese, but it looks great and locals love it. But there is more to the menu: pasta, eggplant parmesan, supions (fried squid), daily specials, olives with anchovies, and BIG steaks and a few other meat dishes.