Edible Map FRANCE

FRANCE

(Courchevel, Languedoc and Rousillon, Meribel, Paris, Provence)

Frequently we turn to France for food and wine inspiration.  Every corner and region of the country produces something whether its sumptuous wine, cheese, fruit, fish meat or vegetables. This country is a place to feast.

Food shopping is almost certainly going to be choosing from varied local and seasonal produce. Find your nearest market to see whats at its best and to stock up your kitchen.

Eating out can be a great joy but as with anywhere stay clear of the obvious tourist traps often found in central areas.   Lunch is generally served from 12pm until only 2pm and most French people  ( particularly down south) wouldn’t consider eating dinner before 8 pm.  Most restaurants offer a great value “Menu du Jour” consisting of 2 or 3 courses at a reasonable value.  Wines are usually offered by the glass, bottle or carafe – ideal if you want to take it easy or sample a few different choices.  If no where takes your fancy you cant go far wrong with buying a baguette, some local cheese and salami and heading to a suitable picnic spot.

 

COURCHEVEL 1650/1850

With all the calories burned whizzing down the ski slopes eating in one of the many excellent restaurants in Courchevel in the winter is a guilt free pleasure.  It is always worth booking ahead and weather dependant sitting outside to enjoy spectacular mountain views. I ‘m afraid most restaurants take advantage of their captive audience so be prepared to empty your wallet, however there is often a good “plat du jour” that can be better value than al la carte.

Le Bel Air –

Courchevel 1650

+33 (0) 4 79 080 093

Extremely popular mountainside restaurant that can be reached by lift so suitable for those with or without skies.  The creamed tarragon chicken and chips is perfect fuel for an afternoon on the slopes.

Suitable for those that can or can’t ski

Drink french wine

Effect on wallet bearable

Cap Horn –

+33 (0) 4 79 083 310

This is where the beautiful and buff seem to congregate for lunch.  Lively music drowned in Crystal Champagne and truffle pizzas —defiantly the decadent choice even by Courchevels standards.

Suitable for the rich and beautiful

Drink Crystal Champagne or the finest wines from Bordeaux

Effect on wallet servelely damaging

Le Casserole –

Signal chairlift

+33 (0) 4 79 080 635

A fine example of local food served in a charming cabin like building.

Suitable for all the family

Drink french wine

Effect on wallet bearable/ damaging

Pilatus

Route de l’Altiport, 73120 Courchevel, France

+33 (0)6 07 72 28 11

Completely hitting the spot with slow cooked meats or a mountain of steaming pasta.  Tempting decadent dessert trolly worth indulging in.

 

Suitable for refuelling next to a James bond set

Drink French wine

Effect on wallet  Damaging

La Soucoupe

+33 (0) 4 79 082 134

This is my favourite mountain restaurant, cosy, charming and delicious food – try something from the chargrill and watch it being cooked on the centrally placed coal pit.  Very romantic and also serves great morning hot chocolate in front of the open fire.

Suitable for taking your lover

Drink red french wine or rose

Effect on wallet Damaging

 

Le Tremplin

http://www.tremplin-courchevel.com

Situated in 1850 in La croisette this is a fun place for people watching.  Dangerously close to shops like Milady and Chanel.

Suitable for steak and frites

Drink French wine

Effect on wallet bearable

Food shopping in Courchevel can provide some challenges.  Remember in winter you are up a snowy mountain and so fresh produce can be hard to come by.  Defiantly a place to go to the shops, see what looks good and then decide what to cook rather than plan menus in the kitchen.  Parking can be a bore so try to shop for a few meals at once and take advantage of businesses like spar that will often deliver to your chalet.  I tend to stay clear clear of fish as is rarely fresh and opt for more meaty and vegetarian options.

Boucherie  (butchers)

73120 Courchevel 1850, France +33 4 79 08 20 08 Decent butcher/ deli

Spar

1850 and 1650 Pretty much your only choice for buying vegetables, fruits and dry goods but quite well stocked and they may deliver to your door.

Market day

Wednesday is market day near the forum in 1850 , stock up on lovely French cheeses and cured charcuterie.

With a license to eat granted from all the energy burned skiing it is not surprising that the food of this region is hot, filling and fairly rich.

Food 

A steaming pot of melted cheese and crusty bread “The Fondu “ is not a surprising addition to any mountainside menu but I am always happy to eat one whilst here.

Raclette – melted cheese served with potatoes, cured meats, salad and pickle

Tartiflette – baked cheese, potato and bacon a firm classic that also certainly provide the calories.

Other popular foods  are slow cooked lamb and pork dishes which are comforting and perfect for the snow covered mountains often served with buttery mashed potatoes

 

Look out for and try local cheeses like; Reblochon, Beaufort, Beaufort Emmenthal – (all three great in the raclette/ tartiflette  dishes) , Chevrotin – a soft goats cheese, Tomme de Savoie  – a relatively low fat cows cheese that has seasonal taste variations and the mighty Vacherain  – only available in winter and  irresistible  served melted infused with wine and garlic.

Drink

White Wine

Chignin – appley, slightly floral and dry

Crepy  – slightly minerally and dry

Rousette de Savoie – a fuller bigger local wine with rounder tones and slightly toasty notes

Seyssel  – the local sparkling if you are not sipping the Crystal

Red

Gamay – look out for a Chautagne which is at the top of its class of this light and fruity wine

Mondeuse – think soft red fruits, better when aged.

Other

Genepi  – the local fire water and a useful source of dutch courage.

Chartreuse  – another local digestif that stokes up the fires with its mysterious herbal and floral properties.

LANGUEDOC and ROUSSILLON

This is a wonderful region for driving around, hopping from town to town to admire all the picturesque buildings and countryside and of course finding somewhere delightful to eat.

Bouzigues

Chez Francine

11, Avenue Louis Tudesq, 34140 Bouzigues, France

 Phone ; + 33 (0)4 67 78 95 84

Don’t be put off by the plastic coated menus this is a very enjoyable little water side restaurant serving fine Bouzigues oysters.  Although not an exciting wine list there is something extremely pleasant about catching the last of the days sun, overlooking the oyster tables ( not beds here)  and tucking in to a maritime feast.

Suitable for slipping down oysters in the setting sun

Drink unchallenging dry white wine

Effect on wallet bearable

 

Uzes

A Cote – Restaurant Pierrade

23, Place aux Herbes | Place Principal, 30700 Uzes, France

Usually the gimmicky idea of cooking ones own food at the table does not spark off any enthusiasm for me however this restaurant is situated in a charming square in Uzes and it is not at all a bad way to spend a leisurely  evening; drinking a pleasant bottle of red and sizzling off bits of decent beef.

 

Suitable for late hot summer night steak dinners à deux

Drink big french reds

Effect on wallet bearable

Chez Cerise

3 Boulevard Dampmartin 30700 Uzes, Uzes, France

A really charming cafe serving excellent coffee and cakes on an eclectic mix of crockery.

Suitable for people watching.

Drink tea or coffee

Effect on wallet minor

 

Local Markets are a great place to find most of your requirements here is a link to when and where they take place.  

http://the-languedoc-page.com/tourism/languedoc-tourism-markets.htm

 

Local Delaacies/Dishes

Brandade  – salt cod with mashed potato and olive oil, a speciality in Nimes

Cassoulet  – slow cooked pork, duck and white bean stew, seriously filling and heart warming.

Petits Pâtés de Pézenas – sweet and savoury lamb pie
 

Food

Mussels, Salt cod, Sardines,  Oysters- particularly from Bouzigues Duck , Lamb of Lozère, Wild Asparagus, apricots, mushrooms, cherries, Local Honey, Bleu des Causses Cheese, local Goats cheese, Roquefort ,Camargues Salt ,Camargue Rice Lucques olives, local Olive oil.

Drink

grapes and wines of the region to look put for and try;

Faugères – aromatic granache based red wine

Corbières – juicy and fruity red

St Chinain  – black fruits and cocoa like red wine

Banyuls  sweet red wine

Minervois  – a  good supple  red

Picpoul de Pinet – a zesty white wine

Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux – sparkling  wine made the same way as Champagne

Noilly Prat – southern french vermouth

MERIBEL

Couer Cristal

Slick restaurant that serves the most heart stopping house burger with fois gras and blue cheese sauce  – not for the weak hearted.

Suitable for those that can take it

Drink french wine

Effect on wallet damaging

no information at present

see what to try in courcheval section

PARIS

Breizh

With a few branches spattered across the globe this small chain has aced its formula for serving brilliant galettes and  crepes.  Start with something savoury and simple like ham and cheese or smoked herring, potato and sour cream then indulge in sweet salted apple and caramel with ice cream or one of the daily specials.

Suitable for a quick and different lunch

Drink the Brittany cider, it completely hits the spot and is served in delightful bowls

Effect on wallet Minor

Le Relais de l’Entrecote

http://www.relaisentrecote.fr

A small chain of steak frites restaurants thats feels very old school.  Expect to queue and dont be shy ( the locals are prone to barge in front if you so hold your ground).  A salad is bought out followed by your  steak and frites served with their closely guarded secret sauce recipe   — I think I have deciphered 80 % of the ingredients.  Save room for the very french deserts.

Suitable for no brainer but tasty steak and frites

Drink Red wine

Effect on wallet bearable

Le Timbre

http://www.restaurantletimbre.com

Charming neighbourhood restaurant with small but delicious menu.  Be prepared to be almost sitting on your neighbours knee as it is as big as…. well a stamp.

Suitable for intimate meals for 2

Drink wine

Effect on wallet bearable

Le Rubis

Address: 10 Rue du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France Phone:+33 1 42 61 03 34

Summon your courage to walk past the bar and up the stairs to the restaurant that could have invented “shabby chic”.   Priests to politicians cram in here for Rustic ( with a capitol R) simple French food. Lunch only

Suitable for those that do shabby chic

Drink goblets of french wine

Effect on wallet bearable

 

Wine bars and  Cocktails

Fumoir 

Located near the Louvre this is a handy one to have in your address book when the art all becomes too much and you need a drink.

 

No information at present

No information at present

PROVENCE

Eating out in this area can be such a treat when the restaurant seizes upon the bountiful local produce.  Due to the areas incredible beauty there can be heaps of tourists so beware the eateries that take advantage of that.  If in doubt buy some local bread, cheese and perfectly ripe fruit, find yourself a comfortable spot  and tuck into a glorious impromptu picnic that wont disappoint. Or try one of these delicious finds that I enjoyed.

 

Mailianne

L’Oustalet

Address: 16 Avenue Lamartine, 13910 Maillane, France

Phone:+33 4 90 95 74 60

Sit out the back in the courtyard and enjoy the barmy summer evenings in Provence while dining on their excellent menu, much of which trumpets the delights of local produce.

Suitable for adults of all ages

Drink from the various choices of carafes of wine

Effect on wallet bearable

 

St Remy De Provence

Villa Glanum

Located opposite the must see village of Glanum a spectacular Roman ruin, this restaurant/hotel has a charming courtyard out the back.  I would only recommend the goats’ cheese salad and a glass or two of Rose but sometimes in the heat of summer that is all you need.

Suitable for a light lunch

Drink Rose

Effect on wallet minor

 

 La Cave aux Fromages

1 place Joseph Hilaire13210 Saint Rémy de Provence

04 90 92 32 45

First and foremost a cheese shop that cheese dreams are made of but it also serves cheese platters and glasses of wine which makes for a perfect light lunch.

Suitable for a cheese pick me up

Drink a glass of french wine

Effect on wallet minor

 

 Bistrot Decouverte

Classic french bistrot with an excellent set menu and wine list.  Lovely to sit outside in the summer and enjoy watching the town go by.

Suitable for dining alone to people watch

Drink from there excellent wine list

Effect on wallet bearable

 

 

Le Bistrot de Marie

 1 Rue Juame Roux, 13210 st remy de Provence, France

+33 4 90 90 02 18

Pleasant local restaurant  serving families, local couples and tourists from a small but tasty french menu ( roast chicken and frites, steak hache, house salad) .  Big courtyard to enjoy the blue skies and summer sun.

Suitable for everyone providing they eat anything

Drink Rose or french beer

Effect on wallet bearable

 

Where to shop in Provence? Local markets, local markets, local markets…… get the hint?

A food enthusiast is spoilt here by the products on offer at the local markets, which is generally great value, seasonal and grown locally.

Here is a link to a website listing the days of the markets in Provence http://www.beyond.fr/a/markets-by-day-all.html.  It is well worth visiting the St Remy market on a wednesday morning, although there are many tourists in the summer months the locals still shop here as the range and quality is excellent.

 

St Rémy-de-Provence

 

Cheese

La Cave aux Fromages

1 place Joseph Hilaire, 13210 Saint Rémy de Provence

Phone:+33 04 90 92 32 45

Dreamy cheese shop absolutely worth a visit, although the owner reminded me it wasn’t a museum when I ogled the selection  for too long.

 Chocolate

Joël Durand 

3 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France ‎ 756 m S

 Phone +33 4 90 92 38 25

Chocolates to swoon over, a great gift to take home, give your hosts or for yourself.  Try the ice cream cubes that are thinly coated in crisp chocolate.

 

Supermarkets

Supermarkets in France are often well stocked and have good meat and fish counters especially Intermarche.

Major choices are;

Intermarche, Auchan , Spars( small and often found in village/town centres), Lidl, Aldi

Vegetables

Le Jardin Paysan

8 Rue Frederic Mistral, 13210, St Remy De Provence

Phone: +33 4 90924665

Wide selection of fruit and vegetables most of which is local.  Also a good cheese and charcuterie counter plus a few other deli items.

Le Potager de Manon

 10 Boulevard Marceau, 13210, st remy de provece . +33 4 32600984

Small but well stocked vegetable shop in town with a few chilled items like cheese to add your basket.

 

Wine

For a fun trip out visit one of the charming vineyards that sell direct and that will often let you sample the different vintages and types on offer.

 

Domaine Guilbert

With a light Rose that slips down all too easily and some delicious Red — especially the reserva this is a great little place to stock up for your holiday cellar.

Mas Sainte Berthe

Easy drinking red, white and of course Rose

Mas De la Dame

Easy drinking red, white and Rose.

 Domaine de Trevallon

Planting unorthodox grapes left Domaine de Trevallon without its AOC, the result? An absolutely, mouth stopping, delicious bottle of wine.  The red is heavenly, the white ( if you can get hold of it) is out of this world. By appointment only.

Bistrot Decoverte

This shop is in St Remy and has a fabulous selction of wines to buy and take home.  Its worth engaging in conversation with the knowledgeable owners.

 

Bored of eating tasteless apricots? Forgotten why cantaloupe melons became so popular? Couldn’t face another disappointing dry jarred olive? Visit Provence  in the right season and you can feast on its staggeringly taste packed produce.

Local Delicacies /Dishes

Aioli – a knock out sauce made with garlic, lemon and olive oil, guaranteed to add a whole new level to your food.

L’ anchoïade – an anchovy paste that is great on toast and served with your aperitif.

Barrigoule – Violet Artichoke, wild mushroom and bacon stew, a delicious dish on its own or as an accompaniment to your main course.

Bouillabaisse – originating in Marseille this is fish stew served with rouille ( a saffron aioli) made unique with the addition of provencal herbs and spices.

Calissons – An almond and fruity sweet that is cut into diamonds.

Daube of Beef – slow cooked beef with wine and bacon, whats not to like?

Lamb shanks – Slow cooked and unctuous.

Ratatouille  – infamous local vegetable stew with peppers, aubergine , onion and courgettes

Soup au Pisto  – a vegetable, bean and olive oil soup that although filling can make an excellent lunch with some crusty french bread.

Tapenade  – A black olive paste that makes the perfect amuse bouche or addition to grilled fish and red meats.

Food

Summer ; Apricots, Figs, Peaches, Nectarines, Tomatoes, Cavillion melon,  Artichokes, Aubergines, Peppers, Courgettes, lettuce …. basically most locally grown fruit and vegetables are sensational! Dried herbs of Provence, local olives, cheeses and olive oil.

Wine and other Drinks

Rosé — I  cant imagine a trip to Provence without a glass or two of this pretty wine.

Pastis — the local aperitif that tastes like sucking fennel bulbs.     –

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