Help with Cotes de Provence Restaurants and Farmer's Markets
I'm off on Wednesday to a small town called la croix valmer just west of St. Tropez. We will be staying at a friend's house and most likely cooking many of the nights. First off, what are the days for the best farmer's markets in the region? I seem to remember a great one in St. Tropez on Saturday morning, but I won't be able to go to that as we have to pick someone up in Marseille that day. What other towns around there have good farmer's markets/green markets? Any great food stores around that are must visits? We'll probably be cooking a fair amount.
We also want to go to one or two restaurants. Last couple of times I was in the area, I went to good restaurants. The first time I went to Le Table de mon Moulins, which was in an incredibly charming setting. Just beautiful. We were sitting outside. The food was excellent. It was a great experience. Not too expensive either. The last time we went to a 1-star Michelin restaurant, can't remember the name, and the food was again excellent, but the setting was really drab and it felt like we were put in the back under fluorescent lamps. This time I'm looking for something where the setting matches the food. The two I've identified so far are La Bastide Saint Antoine and Le Relais des Moines. Both are within an hour of me. I'd love some thoughts on those two, but I'd also welcome other recommendations.
A few years ago, my tour group dined at La Bastide Saint Antoine. Our tour guide, Patrick Chabert, is a chef from Lyon now practicing his craft and teaching classes in French cooking, in Chicago. He is a lifelong friend of La Bastide owner and chef Jacques Chibois.
Mr. Chibois bought and restored a neglected old country inn, approximately 15 years ago, and his cafe has two Michelin stars, I believe. Our group of 28 enjoyed champagne on the terrace, then dined indoors, but there's plenty of seating on the terrace, weather permitting. We enjoyed it greatly.
I can't speak to your other choices, but Mr. Chibois would surely provide a grand evening in a memorable setting.
There is a maket in La Croix Valmer, but I don't recall how good it was for ingredients. It's certainly very very busy!
Auberge La Verdoyante is a restaurant that is quite close to you at Gassin. The food is great, and eating on the lovely terrace is a joy.