Restaurant Suggestions: St. Remy, Bonnieux, Aix en Provence, Marseille
My husband and I will be in Provence (our first time there) this coming September. We will have a car and have based ourselves in the above 4 places. While we will be driving around during the day, we would prefer to have later evening dinners walking distances from our hotels. So we are looking for recommendations in these places. We already have one evening in Bonnieux covered. We are staying at Domaine de Caeplongue and have reservations at Gastroniomic Restaurant of Edouard Loubert for one evening. Please help us out with suggestions for other nights. We love great food and especially love French food. And more on the casual side would be great although we are open to most anything.
Bonnieux vicinity: Definitely try to get into La Bartavelle in Goult, wonderful food and lovely setting. In Menerbes, try Cafe Veranda. Another more rustic but good choice is Auberge de la Loube in Buoux which is on the other side of Bonnieux.
St. Remy: La Maison Jaune and Cafe de la Place.
You can walk to l'Arôme (closed WED/THU) from Capelongue in Bonnieux, although you might want to have a flashlight for your walk back in the dark. If you are up for the polar opposite of dinner at Loubet's restaurant (a great choice), you might like le Castelas in Sivèrgues, but that requires driving along winding & bumpy roads. (See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911227) I believe they are open every night barring a private function.
In Aix I would recommend le Formal (closed SUN/MON) on rue Espariat. Marseille: Chez Fonfon for bouillabaisse in the lovely Vallon des Auffes (closed SUN/MON, possibly just SUN in September). As for St Rémy, we liked the food at l'Aile ou la Cuisse but had horrible service there last year. You might do better. Lastly a note for ex-pats needing an American fix (which I assume won't be you & your husband): we had great hamburgers last night at le Bon Burger, 43A rue Carnot in St Rémy. On well-made burger rolls (difficult to find) with great fries.
What did you think of this very recent thread on the Luberon, including Bonnieux ?
Let us know what you think, what you like and don't like about the recommendations. Then we can advise better. That is how you can help us help you.
We were bowled over by Cafe des Epices in Marseilles last year - strong regional flavours (capers, goat cheese etc) used in stylish contemporary French food and a great outdoor space, at least at lunchtime, a block back from the old port. In Aix, try le Millefeuille, also a bit more contemporary in style. Both are casual.
I have done my homework and read many positings along with the responses to my original post. Here is where we are are now - and I still need some help!
I thought i would lay out our whole trip and maybe that way get some other advice on our trip. We are figuring to keep lunches lighter and more casual beuase are day plans are not so set that we can decide exactly where we will be for lunch. I am hoping that works out. For dinners we would like to be able to walk to restaurants from our hotels (however this may not the be case in Marseille - we may need a taxi there!).
Here is the plan - with questions - so far:
Friday afternoon - arrive in Marseille.
Saturday - wander Marseille
Sunday - wander Marseille
I For dinners in Marseille I am so far I have the following: Un Table au Sud, LbleI hav the
Sorry, tried to delete and hit post!
Here is my complete post:
I have done my homework and read many postings along with the responses to my original post. Here is where we are are now - and I still need some help!
I thought i would lay out our whole trip and maybe that way get some other advice on our trip. We are figuring to keep lunches lighter and more casual because are day plans are not so set that we can decide exactly where we will be for lunch. I am hoping that works out. For dinners we would like to be able to walk to restaurants from our hotels (however this may not the be case in Marseilles - we may need a taxi there!).
Here is the plan - with questions - so far:
Friday afternoon - arrive in Marseilles.
Saturday - wander Marseilles
Sunday - wander Marseilles
we are having trouble finding places in Marseilles. We love seafood but not necessarily Bouillabaisse - I would appreciate some help with dinners in Marseilles! So far I think Un Table au Sud looks good but not sure where else.
Monday we are picking up our rental car and driving to our hotel in St. Remy. the plan is to then head to Arles and Les Baux for the day and then return to St. Remy for the evening and for dinner.
Tuesday we plan to visit Avignon, Pont du Gard and if possible, Uzes, and Orange. Is this too much? Then back to St. Remy for the evening and for dinner.
For our dinners in St. Remy I am thinking that we should reserve La Maison Jaune and Le Bistro Decouverte. Any comments? Other suggestions? Should we substitute L'aile ou la Cuisse for one of these?
Wednesday we plan to visit the St. Remy market in the morning and then head to Bonnieux and check into Domaine de Capelongue. Then we are going to try to see Gordes Roussillon and head back to Bonnieux for the evening and dinner.
Thursday we thought we would try to go to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorge, then Lourmarin and/or Goult and Menerbes. That night we ahve dinner at the Capelongue.
For our other dinner in Bonnieux I am deciding between L'Arome and Le Fournil. Right now leaning towards Le Fornil. Comments?
Friday we are driving to Aix-en-Provence where we are staying for two nights. I thought that our time here would be spent in that city. However if there are any wineries around perhaps this is our chance to visit one.
Saturday - we thought we would visit the Aix-en Provence market and spend the day in this town
For dinners in Aix-en Provence we are considering Le Formal and Z Bistro. Any thoughts?
Sunday - we drive back to the airport in Marseilles and fly home.
So here is our plan - we would really appreciate help with finalizing our dinner plans, ideas for lunches and general advice! Thanks,
"Monday we are picking up our rental car and driving to our hotel in St. Remy. the plan is to then head to Arles and Les Baux for the day and then return to St. Remy for the evening and for dinner."
Paradou is very near. Le Bistro de Paradou is every hound's fave. Or do you really want to dine IN St Rémy ? I find St Rémy to be lovely town, with not that many excellent eateries, unlike, say, Arles.
"Tuesday we plan to visit Avignon, Pont du Gard and if possible, Uzes, and Orange. Is this too much?"
The first 3 places will already be extremely strenuous for one day. You'll end up mostly commuting and not much geting out of car and enjoying.
If you must skip one or two places , I'd skip Orange and Avignon. They are very pleasant towns for changing trains, especially if one does not have a car for further-out touring. I'd focus on Uzès and the little villages near Pont du Gard (Collais and Castillon du Gard; you can look up resto recs on those places on this board). I repeat: Avignon is not unpleasant. I consider not a must-visit at all if one has the option of a car and can visit so many much nicer places.
If you do like mainly to drive and zip from place to place, then I would still recommend Arles to Avignon, for its compact beauty and its concentration of good eats.
"Wednesday we plan to visit the St. Remy market in the morning and then head to Bonnieux and check into Domaine de Capelongue. Then we are going to try to see Gordes Roussillon and head back to Bonnieux for the evening and dinner."
Gordes is physically very beautiful, but overrun. Ditto Roussillon. Do consider nearby Venasque, St Saturnin les Apt, Goult. They are just as beautiful but have their own life independent of tourism.
"For our other dinner in Bonnieux I am deciding between L'Arome and Le Fournil. Right now leaning towards Le Fornil. Comments?"
The food's about the same. The settting of Le Fournil is enchanting.
Bon séjour. Don't forget to report back.
< I repeat: Avignon is not unpleasant. I consider not a must-visit at all if one has the option of a car and can visit so many much nicer places.> I feel compelled to counter that Avignon is my favorite town in the area, and I don't at all consider it less than the others. Plenty of delicious food, and no dearth of fabulous sights to see. ("sur le pont d'Avignon, l'on y danse...").
However, I think you -- Susan56 -- are planning way too dense an itinerary, and I fear you will be wasting a lot of time running from one place to another. And I notice you've left no time at all for the wonderful Roman ruins (Glanum) in St. Remy or the Hospice de St. Joseph, where Van Gogh was interned when he painted some of his most famous works, or the lovely working olive oil cooperative at nearby Maussane les Alpilles.
Marseille: We haven't been to Une Table, au Sud in many years so I can't comment on the cuisine now. But the chef - who I believe was responsible for its previous Michelin star - has now opened Les Fenêtres in the new Intercontinental Hotel on the Vieux Port. Weather permitting, dinner is served outside on the terrace with a stunning view of Notre Dame de la Garde. Friends of ours had a great dinner there, and as a result we have booked a table for next week. I will try to remember to report back.
St Rémy: The last time we were at le Bistrot Découverte was at least a year ago. I'd recommend it over most of the other restaurants in St Rémy, but then we haven't been to la Maison Jaune, which gets good reviews, in about 10 years.
Bonnieux: I'd normally choose l'Arôme over le Fournil, but l'Arôme is closed on WED, so that makes the choice easy.
As for your basic itinerary, I think you will find MON to be a push, depending on what time you leave Marseille & how much time you intend to spend in Arles. Fortunately (!?) the Atelier Jean-Luc Rabanel is closed on MON, so you don't have to decide whether a long creatively-prepared lunch is more worthwhile than additional sightseeing. TUE is also overloaded - I don't think you'll make it to Orange especially if you visit the Palais des Papes. As for visiting wineries, the area around Ménerbes has many vineyards. You could stop in to Domaine de la Citadelle, an above-average local wine, instead of leaving a winery visit for an excursion from Aix. (Once you've parked your car in Aix, you'll be happy to leave it there.) Lastly, although this will just add to your tight schedule, try to get to the Carrières de Lumières : http://carrieres-lumieres.com/fr/home
just outside of les Baux. You won't be sorry.