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Suggestion around Luberon area -Bonnieux

Are you looking for high-end restaurants or just good local fare?
Are you interested in places for lunch or dinner?
What days of the week will you be "near the town of Bonnieux" and could you be more specific about your location? (restaurant closures vary)
It will be easier to assist with the above information, since your request is too general. I assume you will have a car.

about 4 hours ago
boredough in France

Does this look like a paella?

No socarrat = no paëlla: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/08/0...

Jul 26, 2015
boredough in Los Angeles Area

How to contact Ferme Auberge Le Castelas (Luberon)

I called le Castelas last weekend and was told that the place was closed "temporarily" due to "soucis". Gianni said I should call back in a few days but it's been over a week and now no one answers the phone. Thought I'd post this so that anyone with a reservation doesn't make the trip for nothing - call first to see if they re-open.

Jul 26, 2015
boredough in France

Recommendations for reasonably-priced places -- family trip to Les Baux area

Thanks for the report!

Jul 22, 2015
boredough in France

Craving vichyssoise!

Have no idea if they do it well, but both Chez Napoleon and Bistro Cassis have it listed on their on-line menus:

http://www.cheznapoleon.com/menu_dinn...
http://www.bistrocassisny.com/wp-cont...

Jul 14, 2015
boredough in Manhattan

If the only exposure you will (probably) ever have to Provence cuisine is a night in Marseilles and a night in Lyon, where would you eat?

In Marseille: Chez Fonfon in the Vallon des Auffes, if you're interested in bouillabaisse.

If not, Restaurant AM (Alexandre Mazzia) gets excellent reviews (never been but you can do a trace for a few CH comments)

Jul 07, 2015
boredough in France
1

Southern France - Input on Food Itinerary Requested

OP was considering dinner at Bistrot du Paradou on a WED in late October. It turns out they plan to stop their "summer" service by mid-October, which means dinners only on FRI & SAT when the OP will be in St Rémy. Lunch, however, should be on their regular schedule TUE-SAT.

Jul 06, 2015
boredough in France

Review my itinerary, please?

Here's a link to the rules of conduct at the Versailles estate:
http://chateauversailles.fr/resources...
Article II.17 states you cannot bring alcohol onto the grounds. It's also prohibited to bring food/drink (except for small water bottles) into the château, so you'd have to picnic beforehand.

Jul 04, 2015
boredough in France

Southern France - Input on Food Itinerary Requested

As others have mentioned, you may be planning a bit too much, since most of your time will be spent driving from one place to another, and trying to find parking. You might be better off eliminating some of your stops (for instance St Tropez) to better appreciate the rest. That said, here are my comments/suggestions:
TUE in Aix-en-Provence: Head towards Parking Rotonde (street parking is impossible), where you won't be far from the Cours Mirabeau. Have lunch (most offerings include cheese) at la Fromagerie du Passage in the Passage Agard, where they serve until 14h30 (upstairs on their heated terrace).
TUE (in St Rémy): In line with your second priorities, you should know that la Maison Jaune is in the middle of St Rémy, where you could certainly satisfy requirement 2ii. (I don't remember if it's cozy/romantic, but I do know there is no view.) OTOH the view of les Baux from l'Oustau de Baumanière is beautiful (2i), but other than walking around the property (and maybe one next door), you probably couldn't safely stroll very far after your dinner (2ii). Also note (if you haven't already checked it out), that MJ's tasting menu is €74 while OdB's is €160 or €210. If cost isn't an issue, l'Oustau seems to be the better choice for a celebration.
WED (in St Rémy): le Bistrot du Paradou (in le Paradou) is open for dinner TUE-SAT from the beginning of June through some time in the Fall - so you need to check out if they will be serving dinner when you're there. (I can't find any info on-line & they're closed today.) It's not cozy or romantic, and it has no view, but, to me, it is "inviting" because the staff is very welcoming, making you feel like you're there to have dinner in their home. Additionally there is really no place to wander afterwards, but, weather permitting, you could relax outside on their terrace (with coffee or a digestif) before driving back to your hotel. I think dinner is up to €55/person, which includes starter (usually choice of 2), no-choice main (usually delicious roasted Bresse chicken), a nice assortment of cheeses, choice of one of about 8 desserts, house wine, & coffee (& service). As for sauce-mopping, if it's not being offered, ask your waiter if you can have escargots instead of the suggested starter. They're usually available - and delicious. As for the Bistrot Découverte, it is also in the middle of St Rémy (not romantic; no view), so, again, you could stroll around the town before returning to your hotel.
FRI (in the Luberon): The Bastide de Capelongue is definitely romantic with its fabulous view of Bonnieux (2i), but strolling around afterwards would (again) be limited to the property itself (2ii). If you opt for this restaurant and if it's not too chilly, have apéritifs on the terrace overlooking the village. The menus at €140 & €190 are quite different from la Bartavelle's €45 menu - although the latter, which has no view, is in a lovely room with stone walls & vaulted ceilings (cozy, and maybe even romantic), and the cuisine is much more rustic. You could walk around Goult afterwards.
I hope some of the above helps in your decision making. In any case, have a wonderful honeymoon.

Jun 29, 2015
boredough in France
1

Luberon with children?

I think the weekday/Saturday lunch at le Castelas is the same meal minus the roast pork, with an added salad. €25/pp (cash). Not sure about dessert, but they do serve the (goat) cheese course. For your "real" dining, we have no recent experience at either les Bories or le Mas des Herbes Blanches (last time at both was probably 8-9 years ago), but, if you're up for a 30 minute drive (not unreasonable), I'd suggest you & your wife go to Bonnieux one evening. First I'd stop at the Bastide de Capelongue - a 2-star restaurant at a beautiful Relais & Châteaux hotel - and have apéritifs on their terrace (or more precisely one of the smaller "private terraces" a little further down the hill) overlooking the village of Bonnieux. (http://www.capelongue.com) The view is spectacular, and the €20 cocktails a special treat when accompanied by 3 or 4 delicious amuse-bouches at no additional charge. Then, assuming you don't want to dine at the Bastide's high end restaurant, head over to l'Arôme down in the village.(http://www.laromerestaurant.com/uk/of...) The website menu is not up to date, but, along with à la carte choices, they offer a couple of reasonably priced menus (€35-€40-ish). And as you can see from the photos, the room has thick stone walls & archways that make for a lovely setting.
OTOH in case you're really interested in a big splurge (a bigger splurge than Capelongue's restaurant would be), Pierre Gagnaire will soon have a new restaurant in Gordes. (http://www.bastide-de-gordes.com/en/f...) This will be at the newly renovated Bastide de Gordes, which has stunning views overlooking the valley. It's due to re-open around July 10, supposedly price-fixed at €250. If you're daring enough to go, please report back!

Jun 26, 2015
boredough in France

Le Castelas update, May 3, 2015

I agree with you up to a point: our first trip on the bumpy road to le Castelas was fun, and equally amusing (to us) to whichever newbies we brought there over the past years. But we're more than happy that our car bottom can now survive the journey! As for the goats, we did hear the goat bells off in the distance, so they could not have been too far away. I do wonder how often they come over to visit Gianni . . .

Jun 26, 2015
boredough in France

Le Castelas update, May 3, 2015

We finally went back to le Castelas last night. All the dishes were the same as described by mangeur - delicious as usual, but for a minor issue with the roast pork that was just a little dry. (The crackling was fabulous.) We had a long talk with Gianni, who claims there are still about 40 goats that reside nearby and occasionally wander over. Last night they did not. Most important news, however, is the fact that the entire road from the MAIRIE to le Castelas is now completely paved.

Jun 25, 2015
boredough in France

Traveling to Paris and London

It's far from exotic but one thing you might like to have is a butter dish - that is, if you buy French butters (like Plugra or Echiré in 250g blocks) that do not fit in the typical (American) dish that holds a quarter-lb stick. You should be able to get this one at BHV or possibly Galeries Lafayette (in Paris): http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B000NMOE48/re...
It's plastic but they also make one with a chrome base. Or you could go all out and buy a nice ceramic one, but then you'd have to deal with possible breakage.

Jun 23, 2015
boredough in Cookware
1

Al Fresco dining on Upper West Side close to Delacorte Theater

Nice Matin on Amsterdam & 79th.

Jun 14, 2015
boredough in Manhattan

Where to stay in Southern France?

I'd also consider Lourmarin in the Luberon as a possibility (for instance, here:
http://en.cordiere.com)

Jun 13, 2015
boredough in France
1

Recommendations for reasonably-priced places -- family trip to Les Baux area

I freely admit to not having been to many restaurants between Avignon & le Paradou, but, assuming you are looking for a full meal (instead of just a salad or pizza), my only suggestion would be the Château d'Estoublon, just about where D33A meets D17, which I'm guessing is the road you'll be taking to le Paradou. You could have a wonderful introduction to Provence by lunching on their terrace. The menu is typically limited (a few selections per course), but it is reasonably priced and they offer a children's menu.

Jun 11, 2015
boredough in France

Recommendations for reasonably-priced places -- family trip to Les Baux area

I have to apologize for not thinking of this before, but July 4-26 is when Avignon will be packed with tourists due to 2 huge festivals. That means the parking lots will be jammed, and, if you're lucky, you'd find a spot in one of the lots outside the walls and have to take a shuttle into town. This can be hell. Plan B: drop off your things at the gite and have lunch in Maussane. We've never been but heard good things about Au Bistrot Marin (mostly seafood). . . in the alternative there are many restaurants & cafés in this town (besides the ones mentioned upthread) but be sure to book because even Maussane gets crowded. If you're set on seeing Pont Bénézet, maybe you could go on TUE & get to Avignon no later than 9am for a shot at parking. Follow signs to Parking Palais des Papes, which is close to the outer wall (so you won't have to fight the narrow city streets) as well as the bridge. After your sightseeing, walk to the Marché les Halles and pick up food for a picnic lunch at Pont du Gard. (Ask your landlord if he/she has freezer gel packs for you to take along.) Since you'll be having dinner back at the gite (I assume) , you'll be able to take your time visiting PdG and Uzès in the afternoon. Good luck!

Jun 10, 2015
boredough in France

Recommendations for reasonably-priced places -- family trip to Les Baux area

SAT: The Marché des Halles closes at 2pm, so depending on what time your train arrives, you might be able to get some prepared dinner items there before you have lunch. The oyster monger in the corner (la Cabane d'Oléron) - where we just had delicious Utah Beach oysters - also has a small restaurant just behind it (on the street side of the building). They're open until 3pm. If you buy anything that needs refrigeration, maybe they can put it on ice while you have your lunch.
SUN: Bistrot Découverte (St Rémy) is pretty good as well. For dinner I'd recommend the Mas du Capoun (in Mollégès) or le Bistrot Mogador at the Château d'Estoublon (just off the D17 between le Paradou & Fontvielle) - the latter being a lovely estate where they make wine & olive oil, & where you can dine outside on their terrace. If you opt for Capoun, ask for their wine of the month, always a good value.
WED: Have never been to l'Atelier des Bories, but do recommend la Ferme de la Huppe. On your way back to your gite, you could stop at Maison Gouin in Coustellet (Maubec) for prepared foods and/or fresh meats.
THU: La Place (also in Maussane)

Jun 10, 2015
boredough in France

Current recommendations for Bouillabaise in Marseille

Here's a recent thread on Chez Fonfon:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1014...

Jun 09, 2015
boredough in France

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

Also: bread crumbs can usually be found in the grocery store - look for "chapelure". I've never seen it in a bakery, but then I've never looked. Here's a thread on stocks:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5909...

Jun 09, 2015
boredough in France

Restaurants open on Sunday in Marseille?

Have never seen/had anything but "fish-fish" in Fonfon's bouillabaisse. I just found this description from a 2007 article - I doubt the recipe has changed - so I don't think you need to worry. (Still, If I were allergic I'd want to make sure the stock had no surprises. It can't hurt to ask.)
"As you can suspect, after having pleasant amuses, we ordered the Bouillabaisse du Pecheur (Fisherman's Bouillabaisse). Chez Fonfon's recipe consists of a bouillon (rockfish broth flavored and colored with tomatoes and saffron) and an assortment of 5 types of fish served separately: Saint Pierre (known as John Dory in English), congre (conger-eel), rascasse (scorpion fish), galinette (gurnard) and vive (weever). The result was beautiful and delicious. The bouillon was warm and rich and the addition of croutons topped with aioli (garlic mayonnaise) or rouille (saffron aioli) enhanced the whole thing. The fish, perfectly cooked by the bouillon, tasted so much better than that caught in the Atlantic Ocean. "

Jun 08, 2015
boredough in France

Restaurants open on Sunday in Marseille?

Chez Fonfon is open every day. Go there for bouillabaisse or bourride.

Jun 07, 2015
boredough in France

Luberon end of May

Thanks so much for the report! You'll just have to come back for all the restaurants (and fields of lavender) you missed this trip. :-)

Jun 07, 2015
boredough in France

How to contact Ferme Auberge Le Castelas (Luberon)

I just tried 04 90 74 30 81 and they answered the phone. I was told they start around 10am and, apparently, answer the phone as late as 11pm (since that's when I called). This is the same number shown on Luberonweb.com. If you're calling from any place besides France, drop the first -0- after the country code.

Jun 04, 2015
boredough in France
1

Are there any good restaurants open on Sunday in Aix en Provence, FR

Le Poivre d'Ane is closed only on Wednesdays, and (according to their website) is open 7/7 during the summer (for anyone else interested). Note that they serve dinner only.
If you're looking for a simple lunch, try la Fromagerie du Passage (in the Passage Agard), where they serve mostly salads & cheeses upstairs on their terrace.

Jun 04, 2015
boredough in France

Assembling the perfect picnic in Provence

As others have said, you'll probably figure out what to buy when you're cruising the markets. However the picnic foods that come to my mind first are: rotisserie chicken, anchoïade, cherries, Cavaillon melons, apricots, olives, tapenade, fougasse .
I'll add our general rule of thumb for choosing a produce vendor: if you see bananas or pineapples, find another vendor. It means he/she is buying from another source (from anywhere) instead of growing his own (local) fruits. The TUE/THU/SAT market in Aix is great and quite extensive. If you go you should check out the wonderful breads at FarinomanFou (5 rue Mignet, just off the Place des Prêcheurs).

Jun 02, 2015
boredough in France

Chez Fonfon: lunch or dinner as a solo diner?

Personally, I prefer going to Fonfon at night, because I love the setting even when the sun is just low in the sky. I don't know where you'll be coming from (via taxi or foot), but most likely you will approach the Vallon des Auffes from the Corniche du President John F Kennedy (rue des Catalans), which crosses the Vallon. Stop to look around (the "Count of Monte Cristo's" Château d'If is off in the distance) before descending one of the staircases down into the cove; walk around the cove before heading into the restaurant. (It won't take long.) From the restaurant, the overpass cuts across the view of the Mediterranean - I think the view is prettier from the ground floor room than upstairs on the 1er étage , because you can see a bit under the overpass.

As for l'Epuisette (on the Mediterranean side of the overpass), we haven't been there in many years, but at the time you had to order bouillabaisse in advance (so ask when you book). On the other hand, their on-line menu indicates grilled lobster. If they serve BLUE lobster, maybe try that instead with fish soup as a starter, instead of doing bouillabaisse again.

Other than those 2 restaurants, the only other bouillabaisse we've had was at Chez Michel, which now gets mixed reviews. (We preferred Fonfon anyway.) Of the other places you mentioned, we've only been to le Café des Epices, & that was several years ago. It was excellent, but we haven't made it back since.

On another note, since you mentioned la Boîte à Sardine: if you are interested in different takes on sardines, stop into the food section of Galeries Lafayette (just off the Vieux Port) where they sell a variety of canned ones. As David Lebovitz says (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2015/02/...), one doesn't usually get too excited about canned sardines, but some are very good - & you can find Rodel at GF. Surprisingly we also found cans from La Quiberonnaise: sardines from Brittany packed in BORDIER BUTTER, which we had just discovered during our recent visit to St Malo. (Best served warm over toast.) Something to bring home to Boston.

May 27, 2015
boredough in France

Chez Fonfon: lunch or dinner as a solo diner?

Chez Fonfon is in a small cove, facing a row of colorful houses (& small boats). At night, if you are by the window, you can see the sunset off to your right. I don't think the cove has much in the way of night lights, so for that reason I'd say lunch is a better bet - since the restaurant could seat you anywhere (if I remember the set up correctly).

May 25, 2015
boredough in France

Aix-en-Provence: l'epicurien, le Mille feuille, le formal, or something else?

If you're interested in molecular cuisine, check out Pierre Reboul. If you'll have a car, I'd suggest la Table de Ventabren (in Ventabren).

May 25, 2015
boredough in France

Late night (post opera) dinner aix-en-provence

I can't speak for the food (there are mixed reviews), but if you can't find any place else, there's always Brasserie les Deux Garçons (on the Cour Mirabeau) open until 2am every day.

May 25, 2015
boredough in France