Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Restaurants in and around Isle-sur-Sorgue

Three favourite restaurants - excellent but not too expensive:

Le Vivier http://www.levivier-restaurant.com/

Michelin-starred and with a chic, urban feel to it even though it's right on the Sorgue and a stone's throw from open country. Le Vivier is great for a special occasion, a celebration. You can eat inside or outside looking over the river.

Sample menu? (with cheerfully mixed French & English from their site):

3 plats:
43 euros: menu du marché [le midi en semaine, hors jours fériés]
28 euros: menu Gourmand
70 euros [Menu pour l’ensemble de la table]
Le Chef Arnaud Vaumerel vous propose une variation de 7 plats au fil des dernières créations et d’une sélection des plats à la carte.

• Choice of starters 16 euros
Seared rare tuna, tartar of duck breast with ginger, zucchini flower & coriander oil
Salad of baby vegetables, tender leaves & flower,summer truffles & pata negra
Crabe royale au curcuma, guacamole d'avocat, jus de tomate « green zebra » (sup. 10 euros)
Foie gras and smoked eel terrine, pedro ximénez and rhubarb
Tapas style selection


• Ensuite 25 euros
Filet of lightly salted cod, fricassee of summer ceps,coco beans & baby onions
Filet of giant sea bass, squid ink risotto, razor clam and shellfish emulsion
Roast new season lamb, artichokes & sweet peas
Veal sweetbread, coffee flavours, macaroni with morels & braised gem lettuce (sup. 10 euros)
A pigeon pie with foie gras and porcini mushroom

• Desserts with the choice 11 euros (à commander en début de repas)
Farmhouse cheese
Roast black figs tart, blackcurrant crème brûlée & ewes milk sorbet
Selection of chocolat dessert
Melba Peach, lemon verbena infusion and bitter almond emulsion
Homemade Ice-cream or sorbet
Raspberries & tapioca pearls, green tea & jasmine mousse


More laid back in style is the wonderful Jardin du Quai

http://www.danielhebet.com/

You can eat inside, but why would you? The garden is a rambling haven - greenery everywhere, fountains, tables well-spaced or tucked away in leafy recesses. A great place for a relaxed meal with friends.

The menu is Selon le Marché so you always eat what's best and most fresh that day. Check the website for prices.

A sample:

La mise en bouche: Oeuf poché Lard et Truffe
L'entrée: Feuilleté de langoustines
Le plat principal : Saint Pierre à l'oignon doux
Le dessert : Meringue à la griotte

Sounds simple? It's excellent.

And the third is Chez Udo. http://www.udophilipp.com/

You can eat outside here too but the interior feels right somehow. (Just an impression.) The dining room feels like a converted front room, which it is, but it's large and airy and relaxed. Udo appears from the kitchen from time to time to chat to diners and the place has almost the feel of a club where people know the chef and his wife, Carola, or get to know them in the course of an evening.

There is always something innovative or surprising on the menu - Udo is endlessly inventive:


Grimod de La Reynière

Comme éperon bachique espouma de citronelle aux agrumes et figues du jardin de Udo

Velouté de salade aux girolles

Carpaccio de saumon mariné à la badiane et noix de Saint Jacques

Gigot d'agneau des pays d'Apt, ratatouille à l'orange

Chêvre au confit de romarin

Sorbet d'ananas de Provence, du coeur de boeuf , green zébra et basilic

35€

Three recommendations then. Vist any, or preferably all, of them if you're visiting Isle-sur-Sorgue and want to eat really well.

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