L’Oustalet Maianen Restaurant for Delicious Food

Just a few miles north of St-Rémy-de-Provence, in the quiet town of Maillane, sits a restaurant that is well worth the trip. Consider it if you want to enjoy a delicious meal in a comfortable dining room—or on a shady terrace in warm weather. Val and I love L’Oustalet Maianen; it’s one of our favorite restaurants.

It’s also a family affair, with current owner Christian Garino having taken over from his parents some years ago. What started as a snack bar with five tables has grown and evolved to the point that today the Michelin Guide lauds it for “exceptionally good food at reasonable prices.”

Read all about it in Perfectly Provence!

Visiting Maussane-les-Alpilles

Just south of where Val and I live in St-Rémy sits a charming town that more people should visit, Maussane-les-Alpilles.

Maussane is in the middle of olive growing country, and local producers occasionally take home “Best Olive Oil” awards in world competitions. So if you want olives, olive oil, tapenade, or anything olive, you definitely want to come to Maussane.

The town has a comfortable central square, lined with cafés around a big central fountain. It’s a great place for a meal or a drink. Just off the square is an award-winning chef at one of my favorite restaurants.

Maussane has one of the area’s best boutiques selling Provençal foods, a wine shop with a multilingual owner (try to stump him!), and three medieval towers that used to protect the southern edge of the Alpilles Mountains.

For more on Maussane, including some fun pictures, read all about it at Perfectly Provence!

Favorite Restaurants of St-Rémy

My wife Val and I live part-time in St-Rémy-de-Provence, and over the years we’ve discovered lots of wonderful places to eat, including some that are off the beaten path. And, of course, we have our favorite boulangerie, cheese shop, and all the rest.

Would you like to dine while gazing at the Alpilles mountains, with horses in the field next door? Or while sitting under leafy sycamore trees in a beautiful park? Or maybe you’d like to try the specialities at Provence’s best chocolatièr.

I share my insider secrets with you at The Good Life France!

This article is taken from my upcoming book An Insider’s Guide to Provence, available for pre-order on Amazon.

Dominique Crenn, Rebel Chef

Dominique Crenn is one of the world’s greatest chefs, and her flagship restaurant in San Francisco has been awarded three Michelin stars. Known for her creative cuisine, Crenn has recently published her autobiography Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters. It’s a fascinating look at a fascinating person.

Crenn’s has been an unusual journey, and she is not your usual chef. As an infant she was adopted by a couple in Brittany, her father a Resistance hero and a friend of Charles de Gaulle. Despite being raised by a traditional French family, Crenn never quite fit into the conservative France of the 1960s. One reason was her looks—part of her heritage is North African. Plus she was a tomboy with a crush on Olivia Newton-John. And then there was the matter of cooking. Crenn longed to be a great chef, and why not? “But the top restaurants are for men!” she was told. “Women cook at home.”

Read all about this rebel chef in France Today!

Take-Out Food…From a Michelin-Starred Restaurant?

When most of us order take-out food, it’s pizza or chicken chow mien or something like that: tasty but not what you’d call elegant.

By contrast, restaurants with Michelin stars serve food that is the epitome of elegance—Duck à l’Orange presented on fine china, that sort of thing. Not what you would imagine being sold “to go.” Until now.

With the coronavirus forcing restaurants to close their doors, even those with Michelin stars have had to get creative to pay the bills. Some are now offering takeaway food for prices well below what they usually charge. Instead of meals costing hundreds of euros, these restaurants are offering dishes for as little as 8 euros! Prepared by the great chef himself! (or herself, bien sûr)

Let’s take a tour around France and see what’s cooking.

Read all about it in France Today!

5 Top Provence Restaurants

I was asked recently by Taste of France Magazine to name my favorite restaurants in Provence. “Well, that’s easy,” I thought, until they told me to limit my list to five. But there are so many wonderful places to eat! Even in my village of St-Rémy I can easily come up with more than five.

But rules are rules so my wife Val and I put our heads together and came up with our list. It’s a mix of styles and prices and you might want to check it out for your next visit to beautiful Provence.

You can read all about it at Taste of France.

Fresh and Local in St-Rémy

Val and I love trying new restaurants in St-Rémy, and one of our recent discoveries is A la Table de Nicolas. The chef is a Master Restauranteur, always a mark of quality, and the food is fresh and delicious–mostly organic and sourced from local farmers. And they even do takeout, a rarity in France.

If you are in Provence and want some great and reasonably-pricing dining, this is a place you’ll want to check out!

Read all about it in Perfectly Provence.

An Oasis of Serenity in the Heart of Provence

It’s an oasis of serenity in the heart of Provence. The Auberge la Fenière lies at the foot of a forest-covered hillside, just beyond the charming village of Lourmarin. It’s a hotel and restaurant that have been welcoming guests for decades, with beautiful old buildings made of golden stone. Next to them is a broad, inviting lawn bordered by olive and cherry trees and a large herb garden. You can feel yourself relax the moment you walk in.

The main attraction of the auberge is undoubtedly its restaurant, the proud holder of a Michelin star since 1995. It draws food lovers from all over the world for its refined and creative cuisine. And, remarkably, there’s not a speck of gluten to be found anywhere, even in its many homemade breads.

Why no gluten? Let’s find out—it’s a fascinating story.

Read all about it in France Today!

A Great Restaurant Discovery In Provence

“Every day my cooking has to be great.”

That’s Emmanuel Billaud, the owner and chef at Le Clos Saint Roch in Maussane-les-Alpilles, a charming town near St-Rémy. He once won the award for “best-value” restaurant in Paris and has now opened a delightful place in Provence.

If you want a great meal at a great price, be sure to check it out! You can read all about it at Perfectly Provence.