Vines and Voyages 5 Fav Restaurants in France

Le Vivier is nothing short of amazing and considering it is a Michelin restaurant, very affordable. The food is updated Provencal. I had a green tomato gazpacho that was out of this world

Often when travelling, deciding where to eat can be a challenge. Maybe you have done your research, read the reviews, and made your plan. There is a lot of value to this approach. You are less likely to be disappointing and it can save time but… you can miss out on lesser known amazing restaurants, you can be disappointed and maybe once you are actually travelling you feel like trying something different. Or maybe you take the other approach and decide to ask locals once you are there or simply scout around looking for a restaurant that looks good. Whatever the approach, they all have benefits and drawbacks.

Eating in restaurants and trying different foods is one of my favorite reasons to travel. In France especially, the food is usually fresh, seasonal and regional. Asking for recommendations is key and staying away from restaurants in tourist areas (i.e. Eiffel tour) is key. I have put together a list of my top 5 favorites.

5. Cafe L’absinthe Paris France. https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d4341374-Reviews-L_absinthe_Cafe-Paris_Ile_de_France.html. Located in the northern part of the Marais, Cafe L’absinthe is a very local bistrot. The service is especially friendly, the atmosphere cozy and the wine delicious and inexpensive. The food is solid. I had the charcuterie and @benton8tor the lamb. Also try the absinthe!

4. Brassiere le Carnot in Beaune, France has the classic French feel. dark wood, french lighting and wine served in beautiful porcelain jugs. thumbnail_IMG_0704Beaune in the heart of Burgundy is the center of Burgundy’s famous wine and the epicenter for Burgundy’s legendary gastronomy. Burgundy is famous for bœuf bourguignon, Coq au Vin, and more. Le Carnot features local ingredients. In the summer the gazpacho is amazing along with the jambon. Beef tartare is a don’t miss. http://www.brasserielecarnot.com/

3. Still in Beaune La Grilladine offers amazing set menus featuring Burgundy classics. Both the restaurant and the patio offer a lovely atmosphere.Europe June 2010 393 The bœuf bourguignon is delicious as is the parsilined ham.. @Benton8tor swears by the perfectly cooked Charolais beef and scallops. My dad loved the escargot and my mom had the underrated chicken in mustard dish ( You are close to Dijon so…). The wine is incredible ( you are in Burgundy after all) but ask the servers for recommendations to pair to get the best wine experience. My dad and I had wines from the famed cote de nuit which we loved. Desert for me was pears poached in the the burgundy wine. Definitely check it out. http://lagrilladine.fr/

2. Olivier Leflaive. Well we are still in Burgundy. It is a culinary hot spot so it makes sense. If you are violivier-2siting Burgundy make sure to check out Olivier Leflaive. located in the famed Puligny-Montrachet village and appellation, Olivier Leflaive is vineyard, hotel and restaurant and is not to be missed. The 5 courses were paired perfectly with some of the best wines.2014 We started with the lightest gougeres and moved on to a ham terrine with mustard sauce.We also enjoyed a amazing carrot souffle, chicken and desert. We upgraded to the 7 tasting with our meal which included a a few grand and premier crus. Looking for a wonderful French experience, try Olivier Leflaive. https://www.olivier-leflaive.com/en/

  1. Leaving Burgundy fr Provence, My favourite French restaurant to date is Restaurant le Vivier in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is amazing. @benton8tor had researched Michelin starred restaurants and we decided to give it a try. Away from the main drag in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue le Vivier is nothing short of amazing and considering it is a Michelin restaurant, very affordable. The food is updated Provencal. I had a green tomato gazpacho that was out of this world, followed by a bacon, mozza and tomato soup. My pork course was amazing and my peach and chocolate desert with raspberry sauce was incredible. @benton8tor nicknamed it the space odyssey dessert as when you poured the raspberry sauce on the chocolate sphere, it opened to reveal a peach based dessert inside. The wine was Provencal, light and easy drinking. @benton8tor opted for a rose and pigeon pie. His dessert featured violets from the neighboring Langedoc. the patio overlooks the river and the service is perfect. You won’t be disappointed. https://www.levivier-restaurant.com/cuisine-gastronomique-etoile-restaurant-le-vivier-vaucluse/

There are many other amazing restaurants in France, I didn’t get to mention but asking locals, restaurants featuring regional specialties, or just going to the market yourself, you are sure to enjoy France and its its world famous food.

Les Beaux Villages

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is about 30 minutes north of Avignon.Not only do you get to see a stunning village, you are in the heart of some of the most well known, tasty, boldest red wines produced in France. You could spend ( and if you are like me you probably will) your entire day tasting wines

Visiting villages is one of my favourite things to do when I travel. Though they can be touristy, more often than not, they provide an authentic experience of what the region has to offer. Provence in the south of France is especially famous for its Beaux Villages. If you visit there you can see why! They are amazing. This week I will focus on my top 5 favourite Beaux Villages in Provence. These are only my to 5, Seriously  in Provence, I don’t think you can go wrong with any village.

ChateauIMG_4798neuf-du-Pape is a very famous wine region, in fact this Southern Rhone region is so famous for its wine, it is easy to forget Chateauneuf-du-Pape is also a village and a beautiful one at that. Located in the Vaucluse region of Provence, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is about 30 minutes north of Avignon.Not only do you get to see a stunning village, you are in the heart of some of the most well known, tasty, boldest red wines produced in France. You could spend ( and if you are like me you probably will) your entire day tasting wines at vineyards or négociant ( essentially a wine merchant that represents certain vineyards) . Why not go??

Well go for the wine and stay for the scenery. Despite being a bit of a tourist/wine mecca, Chateauneuf-du-Pape gives you the feeling of a slow , dreamy, beautiful pace of life. The streets are beautiful, clean and studded with trees, there are many restaurants and shops tucked in amongst the wine merchants and wineries. In short there is plenty to do even if that means just people watching on one of the many sidewalk cafes.

We almost didn’t make it there. Though @benton8tor loves Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine, he loves new exploring new places even more. We had never been in the village but we had visited wineries in the area before. He wasn’t really game but seeing we had just come out of a 2 day white knuckle hysterical crying fit (on my part) drive in the beautiful Pyrenees, he wasn’t in a position to say no. Besides by this time he probably realized copious amounts of wine were only going to improve my mood so away we went. After a morning of shopping in l’Isle Sur la Sorgue, we arrived in Chateauneuf-du-Pape for lunch. We finally picked a place near a fountain in the square with lots of wine tourist passing by on their way to the next tasting.IMG_4778 @benton8tor rolled his eyes and sighed ” I guess I am just going to have to eat bad food” He assumed any restaurant on the tourist path would be bad. I however had a pretty good feeling. Sitting on the beautiful patio, Ben struck up a conversation with the table next to us. Turns out they were English, tasting wine and had just enjoyed the best burger ever, Ben still dubious, however ordered it. Turns out it was the best burger he ever had in France, and well you couldn’t go wrong with the wine. The burger had a hint of pink (@benton8tor likes his burgers on the rare side with a trusted source) and the fries were crisp and tantalizingly golden. My tomato pate with cinnamon sorbet was sweet, and savory and decidedly refreshing.  Our server recommended wineries to try and gave us thoroughly excellent service. I could have sat there all day, relishing in my smugness of being right, but there was wine to try.

Our first stop was at a négociant. We probably spent an hour with him. We tasted quite a large varthumbnail_IMG_6362iety of wine and spent a good deal of time chatting about the various vineyards, the grapes, and the producers. It reminded me of some of the producers in Burgundy. We ended up tasting one of the best wines ever.Cuvee des Jeune filles IMG_4797Lacoste- Trintignan. We spent more than we thought we would, but the wine was well worth it. 

 

 

We spent the rest of the afternoon at various wineries. try as many as you can, you can’t go wrong but Chateau de Nerthe is a beautiful vineyard with amazing wine so it is a must do.http://www.chateaulanerthe.fr/

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a very walkable village, and probably not the best village if you are looking to experience a typical French country experience. The draw of the wine makes it far to much of a touristy for that  but yes there is more to Chateuneuf -du-Pape than wine but the wine is so delicious, why would you miss out?