5 Deliciously Great Places to Eat in Central Luberon – Provence
For me travel is about food. I have a seriously hard time characterizing a vacation as good, if I didn’t eat well at the destination. I think it’s pretty easy to find info on what sites to sees when you get to wherever you are going. The real hard part is finding good places to eat while there.
Here’s our list of our favorite places to eat during our stay. I (we) hope you like them too.
– La Table de Pablo, Villars (great outdoor space)
Thanks to our GPS we didn’t get lost while looking for this restaurant on the rural outskirts of Villars. We pulled up to the quintessential Provence style building painted in pale pink with pretty sky blue shutters… highly recommend eating outside if the weather is nice. Inside, the decor it what I would describe as modern African, painted white with chocolate brown accents. I guess that may sound strange for a place in the middle of the French countryside, but this place does do haute fusion/creative cuisine (though I would say more Asian & French)… Superb ingredients, very precise execution, beautiful plating.
From reading the reviews on Tripadvisor, not everyone was keen to he chef’s innovative flavor combinations. But I really liked it, probably because I like just about everything with ginger in it. Another thing to take into consideration is the entree sizes. Don’t expect a typical American or even French entree/plat size. Instead expect to order a few courses, like in most fine dinning restaurants. In fact, get something off of the ‘menu et prix’ and you’ll go happy and full, without spending a fortune.
– Le Sanglier Paresseux, Caseneuve (romantic)
This is where we were planning on going for dinner on our anniversary. At this point we had already spent a few days in Luberon, and we had not had any problems getting a table anywhere. We both thought to ourselves “Maybe, we should call and reserve a table” but never said it out loud to the other. Nor did we call the restaurant. And so after spending about 30 minutes walking around a practically uninhabited town waiting for the restaurant to open, we found out they had no availability.
Judging from the positive review from Audrey (who has yet to fail us), the Michilen guide, and the fact that the restaurant was booked solid (we saw them turn away a few other people, while we sat in our rental car looking for other dinner options), this place is a definitely on our list of places to try the next time we visit the region. If one of you guys go there before we do, please let me know what you think.
– Thym, te Voila, Apt (radical cheap)
This is a kind of radical French “cuisines du monde” restaurant. They have typically French dishes mixed with a few worldly options. Housed under a building with a similarly mix matched decor, but all in all I thought “this is kind of fun”. We ate there for lunch after visiting the Apt market on Saturday. The prices/portion sizes make it a pretty affordable and satisfying option. Oh and the tea and coffee selection, awesome!
– La Pastorale, Cereste (unexpected discovery)
I wouldn’t have given this place the time of day if Audrey hadn’t recommended it. In fact we drove right by the place the first day while looking for the Hameau de Cournille. The restaurant is located on the second floor of a busy street (for Provence) in the center of Cereste. Contrary to the decor (which is just average) the food is really quite good. The quality of the ingredients is first rate.
Hubby kept on ranting and raving about how fresh his Branzino was despite the fact that we were inland. And that it was tasty too, “Probably not farm raised” he insisted. The waitress was also incredibly nice. If I remember correctly I think she said she’s from Holland. She spoke French, English, German, Spanish and a little Italian.
– Le Petit Jardin, Viens (small town folklore)
This may very well be the only restaurant in Viens. No actually I lied, there is some sort of coffee shop/bakery on the other side of the street. But you get the idea. It’s a relatively large restaurant for a super tiny town that is anything but touristy. In fact, I loved the fact that I could watch the locals come in and out of the place. Some of them eating dinner others getting ‘adult beverages’ at the cafe. One table had 4 guys (I’m guessing locals), all wearing some sort of hoodie/jumpsuit with on average 3 gold rings per hand.
The waitress was equally folkloric, gracefully gliding around people, tables and chairs in tight denim jeans and platform pumps. She quickly and amiably served all of the tables with a lovely sing song type voice (none of the stereotypical rude French service here). We ordered food off the menu of the day, and it all came out super quickly. I could tell the options were well studied to ensure it could be made in advance and plated as necessary. By well studied, I’m implying that the dishes made sense when prepared this way. Like the asparagus flan made with tasty fresh ingredients.
*Images not containing the Flirty Foodie logo were taken from the respective restaurant’s website