In search of iconic meals
While in France this coming May and June, my wife and guests would like to experience the really great dishes that are offered. We'll be visiting Paris, Bordeaux, Bayeux, Aix-en-Provence, and Nice and areas surrounding by car. I read much on this board about the great restaurants and the great stuff they provide/invent, but if I was to make a list of the Iconic French dishes, which would they be in these five areas? And, please, only as a secondary response, where should we go to get these foods? Dishes first...restaurants second, cook at home from market offerings third.
I'll give this a go for Provence since no one has responded. Bouillabaisse comes to mind first - you should go to Marseille for that (Chez Fonfon). For socca, here's a link to several threads on recommendations in Nice:
Other foods that say "Provence" to me are: aïoli (the dish, not just the sauce), pan bagnat, pissaladière, calissons, anchoïade, & tapenade. The last 3 can easily be found at the markets in Aix .
In the south if you can make it to La Mas Tourteron near Gordes you will be blown away. Its a beautiful place with a lovely courtyard and a great interior space as well. Amazing food and the winning ticket is their 3 tier dessert table. I still dream about that Calisson Aix cake.
Calisson = ICON
In Aix, daube provençale... my favourite comfort food... but I rarely order it at restaurants because my grandmother (not provençale) makes it better than anybody else and I'm afraid of being disappointed. Try making it at home.