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Provence, Vaucluse, & Luberon: sightseeing and dining advice?

Provence, Vaucluse, & Luberon: sightseeing and dining advice?

Apr 27th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 189
Thanks everyone for your help. Here is my "short" list (which comprises too many restaurants to try in the time available!)

While we are in St Martin de Castillon:
**Lou Caleu (provencal for “The Oil Lamp”) just east of Apt near St. Martin de Castillon
Apt: Bistrot de France
La Manade
Relais de Roquefure ( The food is some of the best in the area, emphasizing regional produce. Repas du soir 20€ par personne).
St. Saturnin les Apt: Les Voyageurs
Roussillon: La Val des Fees
N100 near Goult: L'Auberge du Fiacre
Mas de Tourteron-Les Imbert (s. of Gordes)
**Auberge de la Loube, Buoux Small, personalized, and charming, this century-old domaine of Provençal chef and entrepreneur Maurice de la Loube offers delicious cuisine.
**Le Fournil, Bonnieux in an old bakery-John Malkovich’s favourite-is the very definition of low-key Provencal style, with great service and local produce.
Mas de Cure Bourse, Carrefour de Velorgues - 84800 - L'Isle sur la Sorgue - Tél. €16 lunch, wed-fri
Near Sivergues,the restaurant/goat farm called Castellas

Moving on to Aix, here are the ones we like:
*Le Bistrot Latin (Aix) tel. 04-42-38-22-88): The staff is young and enthusiastic, and Provençal music plays in the background. Try the scampi risotto.
Le Petit Verdot, at 7 rue d'Entrecasteaux (near hotel)
Le Dernier Bistrot - 15-19, Rue Constantin +(33) 4 42 21 13 02
Chez Charlotte - 32, Rue des Bernardines +(33) 4 42 26 77 56
Le Basilic Gourmand - 6, Rue du Griffon (lunch)
Brasserie Léopold - 2, Avenue Victor Hugo C'est un excellent restaurant. La carte y est variée et les plats copieux. La tarte tatin avec son fromage blanc est magique.
Le Ramus, 5 Place Ramus tel. 04 42 93 00 97 Typical Provencal restaurant, the bouillabaisse is especially good.

In Cassis- Chez Gilbert, on the harbor. (Thanks, cricket!)

La Gueule du Loup 39 rue des Arènes a delightful small restaurant. The very tasty 25 euro menu was a steal.
**L'Affenage. A roaring fireplace grill and a parade of crockery bowls full of Provençal hors d'oeuvres (eggplant, tapenade, and chickpeas with cumin) make this a popular lunch spot. Closed Sun., Mon. night
*La Paillotte - 28, Rue du Docteur Fanton - Best restaurant in our 4 weeks in Provence.
*Le Jardin de Manon 14, av Alyscamps. A simple, reasonably priced, hospitable Provençal restaurant serving elaborate regional dishes and delicious desserts.,
**La Chassagnette Route du Sambuc (13 km south of Arles on the D36) The meal starts with tapas-style dishes. Some are based on vegetables; you might be served grilled sardines as well. Meals are interesting and innovative, inspired solely by the restaurant's superb organic garden and the local Provençal markets. Lunch €22. Stupendous! (we've already booked here for lunch)
*Grain de Sel in St Remy

When we return in late June, I'll file a trip report. Thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it!

hikerboy is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Dear Kevin, Great list! Even if you only get to a few you will love it.
If you like Jazz, on Thursday night at the Le Gousse D'Ail in St Remy. and Kevin, a cigale is not a cricket but a cicada. "Et La Cigale Chanta tout L'Eté."
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 04:27 PM
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My favorite place missed your list (although you may have dropped it because it exceeds your price limit). It is close to where you are staying - just stop by one time & check out the menu and the ambience at Bernard Mathys. We've vacationed many times in Provence, for a total of 13+ weeks. We've dined at 6 of the places on your list, and I certainly prefer Bernard Mathys over the others. My second favorite close to Apt, is Bartavelle in Goult - it's more in the price range of the others on your list.

I was disappointed with my meal at Fournil, and Jardin de Manon is perhaps last on the list of the 20 or so places we've visited. We've dined at Aub de la Loube twice, and when the Peter Mayle "mystique" wore off for us on our second visit (a few years later), it did not seem as good.

My favorites on your list are Cure Bourse (tried to dine there a second time - after a dry run driving there in the daytiime, we concluded that we would get lost going "home" after dinner like we did the first time we dined there), and Mas de Tourteron (dined there twice - lovely setting). We chose not to dine a second time Auberge de Fiacre.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Grandmere!! I noticed in my cookbook of Elizebeth Bourgeious (sp?) of the Mas de Tourteron, that she also owns the "La Carre D'Herbes" in Isle sur Sorgue. We did lunch there one day several years ago but didn't realizze it was their operation or if it still is. Do you know?
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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Auberge de la Loube was probably our most memorable meal in the Luberon. A couple of things -- be prepared for a somewhat hair-rising drive up to Buoux. We drove from Bonnieux (where we were staying) in the afternoon to make sure we could find our way that night for dinner. Two of our party were so alarmed by the twisty mountainous road that they didn't want to go back at night. We finally convinced them, and it was fine, but I wouldn't want to attempt it if the driver had overindulged on wine! I did see a road going out of Buoux the other way, so maybe there is an easier approach than the one we took.

Also, if you go (and I definitely recommend it) be sure to have the antipasto; it's amazing, seemed to go on forever. You can see a picture of it on our web site at: http://www.aultdesign.com/FrancePGA/.../source/17.htm
Also, they have a wonderful dessert platter. The night we were there the main dinner choices were pork and lamb, and the lamb people were happier with their meal.

If you're there in warm weather, they had a really nice looking patio dining area. We were there in October, so it wasn't open.
nonnafelice is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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nonafelice, are they no longer open for lunch?
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Helas, Cigalechanta, I haven't been in Provence in several years and don't know about Eliz. Bourgeois' other place. Have you tried to google it?

This thread reminds me that I wish I were going to Provence next week.
grandmere is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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Don't need to I have been there but wondering if you had since you are a fan but I don't remember what we at it wAS LONG AGO. i STILL HAVE THE CARD THEY GAVE WITH l'ADDITION. (SORRY KEYSstick)
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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La Fete en Provence is more of a restaurant with a few rooms above it than the reverse, I think.

Myou is indeed in the Center of Uzes, although not right near the Place des Herbes, which I think of as the social center of the town. It's near the church known as St. Theodorit. Food is supposed to be Provencal, but I had a delicious chicken dish--sesame crusted--that tasted quite Asian to me. When I mentioned this to our host, who had recommended the restaurant, he was scandalized.
elle is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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Hi Hikerboy
Just a comment about the goat farm in Sivergues. Because of Cigalechanta's recommendation, we went there. If you think the drive to Buoux is hair-raising, don't go to the goat farm. We went for lunch and when you get there it is beautiful. Looks like it is straight out of Heidi with a view that won't quit. But can't imagine having dinner there. It would be impossible to drive down the mountain after dark. (As I recall, Cigale was staying there.) Anyway, we didn't get to eat because there was a film crew from Paris encamped. But we looked around. Have a great trip. It is a wonderful area. CJ
CarolJean is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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Jumpin' Jimimy, Cigalechanta, I just gave myself a quick education on the differences between crickets and cicadas (katydids also). I also learned that the 13 year and 17 year "locusts" are cicadas too! Sorry about that.

And Aunt Felicity, thanks for the link to your photo album. The starter antipasto looks impressive, and the "Chien Loube" is pretty cute too! Your album shows a great slice of life in Provence and Paris. It looks as if all of you travelling in "big blue" got along well too.
Stu, we may have a peek at Bernard Mathys and if we happen to be feeling flush or impulsive, we just might try it. I certainly value your evaluations and love reading your reports, but I am trying to economize so Peggy can spend more (time & money) in the shops and the markets! Besides, I'm just a country boy from New Brunswick, Canada with pretty simple tastes. That's why dining at the goat farm in Sivergues appeals to me (I think we'll take Carol Jean's advice and go up there for a hike and lunch, rather than scare the dickens out of my wife driving fast on those windy country roads at night.
On May 30, we leave here for a week in Paris and 10 days in Provence. We wish we could do as Stu and his wife do and stay for 4 weeks. Maybe next time. Regardless, we can hardly wait!


hikerboy is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 08:33 PM
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Question - What is the difference between Locusts and Cicadas?
Common name confusion once again illustrating the usefulness of scientific nomenclature!
Cicadas are in the order Homoptera, most closely related to plant lice and leafhoppers.
Cicadas lay eggs in slits in twigs; annual species hatch and mature on their host trees
and sing loudly during hot summer days. Periodical cicadas drop to the ground after
hatching and spend anywhere from a few to 17 years as nymphs feeding on tree roots
underground before maturing to adults. "Locust" is a general, colloquial term that
usually refers to migratory grasshoppers of the order Orthoptera, but is sometimes applied
to other insects of the order, including crickets and katydids.

J. Elliott
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Cigalechanta and AGM among others gave you golden advice.

IMO, re St. Remy, for La Source only dine outside. La Grain de Sel is excellent. For a nice lunch try Gousse d'Ail in St. Remy.

A few kms outside of St. Remy is an auberge called Mas de Bournissac (near Paludes de Noves(sp?)). Its restaurant, La Maison, provided the best meal we ever had in Provence, maybe in France. Save it for a special occasion, or, if your budgt permits, do not miss it.

I also like the Mas de Toureton near Gordes--again outside is best. In Saignon, near Apt, is Le Presbytere, great for lunch. May still be owned by Virginian--who is most hospitable.

We visit St. Remy for the 13th straight year in June. Love the place.

Powell is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Anthony,thanks for the advice. When a guy with 13 years of experience speaks, I listen. You know you've found something worthwhile if you return every year! This will be our first visit to Provence but I doubt that it will be our last!

hikerboy is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Cigale, you asked whether La Loube was no longer open for lunch. They probably are during high season, but we were there in October, and as I recall they were only open for dinner, at least during the week. Maybe they were open for lunch on weekends.

Hikerboy, glad you enjoyed the photo album. You mentioned that you wanted to economize, and La Loube was quite reasonably priced, I think.
nonnafelice is offline  
Jun 27th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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sivergues goat farm sounds terrific, although i'd sure appreciate how to get there from lacoste, where we'll be staying. we really enjoy restaurant loufoc (!!!) in our very own lacoste. delicious food, uner $100 eiros for 2 with wine, and the view across the valley to bonnieux in prieless !!!

susela is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 08:41 PM
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hikerboy, did you write a trip report? Or want to tell us which restaurants you went to, and which you liked?
Ronda is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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CarolineM is offline  

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