These are two of my favorite restaurants in Provence,one is perfect for lunch the other for dinner.
Restaurant Auberge de la Clue– Deep in the country east of Vaison la Romaine, this family owned restaurant serves traditional Provencal cooking at a very reasonable price.
I could not resist ordering the gizzard salad with smoked duck breast and walnuts. I was not disappointed. The salad was excellent. For he second course I had duck confit one of my favorites and it was perfect. Then there was the dessert – prune ice cream with Armagnac – it was so good I forgot to take a picture of it.
We drank a Château d’Aqueria Tavel 2012. It is made from seven different grapes, the principal one being Grenache 52%. The vines are 35 years old. The grapes are completely destemmed before being put into the maceration vats for 24 to 48 hours. The grape varieties are then blended two by two. After fully “bleeding” the vats (drawing off the juice), fermentation takes place at regulated temperatures (18 to 20°C). The different grape varieties are then all blended together and age for several months before being bottled at the estate. This is a fruity wine with aromas and flavors of red berries and more than a hint of strawberries and raspberries. About $20 in the US.
This restaurant is on the road that goes up to Mt Ventoux. There are exquisite views across the Rhone Valley to the Cevennes Mountains. The sunsets are spectacular but do not get there too early as the sun can be blinding.
I began with foie gras, which was perfect followed by very tender pork cheeks with mushrooms and polenta. The dessert was 3 scoops of sorbet with very intense flavors of blueberry, basil and melon. This was one of the best meals I had in Provence.
For the wine, I ordered a Gigondas Domaine du Grand Bourjassot “Cuveé Cécile” 2009. They have 7.5 acres in Gigondas. The wine is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. This is a full-bodied wine with black fruit aromas and flavors, a hint of blueberries and a touch of lavender. About $35 in the US.