Our finest dining of the three weeks in Spain and France turned out to be three lunches in Provence--in Arles, Avignon and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, three successive delicious days in June.
First up was at the bistro adjoining L'Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabenel, a Michelin two-star establishment in the center of the old, Roman city of Arles. After touring the ancient coliseum and other sights, we had a late lunch at the Bistro a Cote. The three-course daily menu offered three choices per course. Most interesting was this composed Salade Nicoise, which my husband and I both chose as our first course. We sat on the breezy terrace -- it's on a cobblestone street, charming but not especially picturesque -- and chatted with a gay couple from San Francisco throughout our meal.
|Salade Nicoise, in Arles|
The next day we drove to Avignon, another notable sightseeing town in Provence. Once again, after touring the (in this case) medieval palace of the Pope, we sought out a restaurant recommended in one of our guidebooks. Little did we know that this would be the best meal of our entire trip, at another Michelin one-star, Christian Etienne. The second floor room above the old part of the city had open windows and a fresh-air feel; the service was impeccable; and everything we drank and ate was marvelous. I had the best veal I can ever remember. Here is a shot of the first course, a soupe du poisson, along with the Champagne cocktail and glass of white Rhone wine that was at my place. Of course, I had to try a red wine to go with the veal. And then came this lovely dessert.
|First course at Christian Etienne|
|Dessert, in Avignon|
Next time, I'll show & tell about what was my favorite single dish of our wonderful time in Spain and (especially) France.