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Restaurant Openings in the South of France

The south of France is heating up this summer with three restaurants from French über-chefs. Following their success in Montpellier, the Pourcel twins have opened La Compagnie des Comptoirs (83 Rue Joseph-Vernet; 33-4/90-85-99-04; dinner for two $68) in Avignon, offering gazpacho with roasted shrimp or duck with fig chutney in the garden of a 15th-century cloister. In St.-Tropez, Alain Ducasse's latest, Spoon Byblos (Hotel Byblos, Ave. du Maréchal-Foch; 33-4/94-56-68-20; dinner for two $120), serves Mediterranean plats—tofu with chorizo and anchovies, spicy lamb tagine—to the pre-clubbing crowds. And on a lush hillside on the Italian border, in Menton, architect Rick Mather and chef Jacques Chibois have turned a sleepy 1940's café into a three-story chrome and glass brasserie: Mirazur (30 Ave. Aristide-Briand; 33-4/92-41-86-86; dinner for two $70), where the view competes with prawns served with carrot sorbet. Menton's microclimate is always four degrees warmer than the rest of the coast's, making it truly the hottest spot on the Riviera.

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