Yes. It's a restaurant review.
We have two rules :
1. If there is a Plat du Jour (special of the day) one of us must order it
2. Rule one does not apply if the Plat du Jour is Andouillette.
(Andouillette is basically intestines wrapped up in a sausage skin. I've never eaten it, but the LSH has resolutely tried it a couple of times, trying to figure out what the French see in it. The last time, I sat in between the LSH and the ED as they both sampled andouillette in the Café du Cours in Reillanne. The waiter had extolled its virtues, and convinced them that it was "very, very special." I might as well have been sitting in a cowhouse - that's what it smelt like. Both of them tried hard to like it, that day, and both agreed it was in a lovely sauce, but it still ..um.. tasted like it smelled.)
So, no, thank you France, you make great food, but we're steering clear of the andouillette from now on.
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤Our very first venue for TFIL is Chez Eric, in Montfuron, a couple of miles from our house in Les Granons.
Montfuron is a tiny village perched on top of the eastern end of the Luberon massif, looking out over the valley of the once-mighty Durance river. I'm sure it's crazy busy in the summer, but at this time of the year, it's a sleepy little place, consisting of a village square with a cluster of stone built houses surrounding it. There's also a gentle urban sprawl, which stretches as far as the ruined chateau above the heart of the village to the West and reaches out to the restored Mill to the North.
Chez Eric is in the corner of a house jutting into the village square. It has a lovely terrace built right into the square, but the day we visited, it was raining heavily, so the terrace was deserted.
The LSH dropped Granny and I just outside the restaurant and we went in, while he parked the Jeep. My first impression was "this is much posher than I expected!" It has a very modest exterior, which doesn't prepare you for the smartly dressed waiting staff or the tastefully decorated interior.
Posher also meant more expensive than I expected - a three course lunch sets you back €28. There was no Plat du Jour, so we went for the main course + dessert option, at a hefty €25 per head.
We were unlucky in that we arrived just after a table of twelve, so it took the staff a while before they even got menus to us. Apart from that, though, the service was excellent - attentive, but not unctuously so.
The wine list was - well, I don't know that I've ever seen a wine list like this before. It was like a cross between a phone book and a large family photo album.
We did the cheap thing and went for a glass each of the house rosé. The fantastic wine list was kinda wasted on us, really.
|Filet de Boeuf|
|Joue de Cochon|
|Tarte au Figues|
|Baba au Rhum, the rum was on the side,|
to be poured on as required
|Espresso on right, Double Espresso on left|
|With iPhone for scale!|
But back to Chez Eric. The bill came to €30 per head when the wine and coffee were added on. To be fair, Chez Eric is not a typical Provençal café, it's a gourmet restaurant, and is priced accordingly. It's worth splashing out there for a special occasion, but there's better value to be found for a once-a-week treat, or indeed for a tourist lunch.
Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮ (they dropped one for being slow to get to us at the start)
Food : ✮✮✮✮ (Granny's steak being a wee bit tough lost them a star)
Value : ✮✮✮ (my initial reaction was 2 stars, but I'll be generous)
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮ (very nice, but I think we will find better)