Unless you know something about the couple who created this delicious restaurant at Paradou, one of the prettiest and most beloved villages in the Alpilles, it may be an unlikely surprise to find such mundane and spiritual cuisine in an old town. stone inn in the countryside.
Suffice to say that this table is the project of two inveterate globetrotters who were finally seduced by the beauty of the region and its refined but relaxed lifestyle and decided to stay there.
Chef Edouard Beaufils and restaurateur Jessica Cogoni met while working at the Place d’Armes hotel in Luxembourg, the last stop on their individual journey, which had seen them in turn in Paris, London, Montreal and Sydney. .
Cogoni is actually originally from the area and wanted to return after living and working abroad, so the couple decided to renovate the premises of the former Michelin-starred La Petite France and bring a new taste of metropolitan glamor to their new bucolic home. “The common thread running through my cuisine is the superb, seasonal, local produce that I can find here,” says Beaufils, whose concise menu features comforting classics alongside more inventive dishes.
Meeting up with friends for lunch on the shaded terrace here recently, we ordered the four course Bec menu for € 55 and had a great meal.
On a hot day, a preparation of zucchini with ricotta and a tantalizing name golden milk was a very refreshing and invigorating starter (golden milk is a turmeric drink made from soy milk), just like octopus with tomatoes and crushed pistachios.
The two main courses on this menu were also splendid, including a succulent grilled veal steak with an intriguing but delicious garnish of cauliflower with seaweed and seared whiting with eggplant and lemon balm.
In the end, the thoughtful creativity of these dishes made a nice change from the dominant local idiom of the Provencal bistro classics served in most restaurants in the area.
And the desserts were just as provocative but enjoyable too, with an improbably succulent composition of quinoa, chocolate, macadamia nuts and raspberries, sage leaves and milk. Bec offers an exceptional wine list and excellent service, and it’s open for lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.
55 avenue de la Vallée des Baux, Paradou,
Phone. (33) 04-86-63-57-52
Fixed price 55 €, average à la carte 65 €.
From France Today magazine