Provence

Restaurants in Provence

The modest 35-seat restaurant in Arles has no written menu and a $67 lunchtime prix fixe. Rival Gault Millau had named Rabanel, the restaurant’s previously obscure fortysomething chef, its toque of the year in 2008.

The unlikely people behind Pierrerue's only storefront are Maryvonne and Mark Marinelli, Americans in their forties who formerly owned a corporate catering company in North Carolina.

In the tourist-clogged hill town of Gordes, it's not easy finding a place to eat—a pleasant, authentic, and reasonably priced place, that is, among the tourist canteens and the high-priced restaurants. Le Bouquet de Basilic, tucked behind a souvenir shop, is an adorable discovery.

Tables were placed on gravel underneath the shade of the trees at this casual country place. Order beautiful green salads with red currants, a bit of foie gras, warm cheese with a red pepper–and-garlic rémoulade, rabbit with a dried-fruit reduction, and risotto aux fruits de mer.

Ths Michelin-starred restaurant-cum-inn sira among aromatic herb gardens and lavender fields.

Located on a narrow street opening onto the Place du Forum in the heart of old Arles, this former charcuterie dates from 1942. The tiny space is now a winsome bistro with a modest décor of red velvet banquettes and pig figurines.

The 146 year-old property once had guest rooms, a grocery, a café, and a gas station but now is a café-bistro only. Have some of the on-the-house sangria-like aperitif of red wine from the village cooperative, apple juice, and crème de cassis.

In a century-old house across from the train station in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a celebrated riverside town of antiquaires, Le Jardin du Quai is one of the best new restaurants in Provence.