I have been attempting to eat my way through the entire country of France for some time now, so it would be perfectly reasonable for me to have a jaded, rather road weary attitude when it comes to French food, n’est pas?
Been there, done that, right?
Not exactly my friends.
After so many years I am still absolutely amazed at the quality of cuisine, service, and wines that can be found in the most unexpected places in this wonderful country.
Is there someone out there championing the cause of the country auberge, the bistrot de pays, the common man’s stomach?
If not, sign me up, I’m your guy.
Why am I on such a foodie high?
Simple. My wife and I have just dined at Le Petit Cafe in the strangely charming Provencal village of Oppede Le Vieux (that’s Peter Mayle country by the way, and if he hasn’t been here he’s really missing out).
Situated on a charming corner of what appears to be the town’s only drive-able street, Le Petit Cafe is top notch.
A delicious Amuse bouche with pork rillettes and just the right amount of strong local honey kicked off the evening perfectly, followed by a chilled salmon and basil lasagna (I know, sounds weird but it wasn’t).
Next, a superb lamb, tomato, and zucchini soul food dish had me feeling like Alain Ducasse himself was quietly massaging my shoulders between bites.
A chocolate cake with pistachio reduction, raspberry coulis, and more of that delicious local honey.
Top it all off with strong espresso and a digestif of Marc Provencal Poire and you may stick the proverbial fork in me and put me to bed a happy man.
Did I forget to mention the local wine was excellent? I bet the cost of shipping good vintages to Le Petit Cafe is pretty inexpensive.
We passed the vineyard on the way home.