A COTIGNAC RESTAURANT REVIEW
by Michele Di Falco
There are bars, cafes, and restaurants all around Cotignac's lovely Cours
In fact allowing for only one visit per restaurant per day, one has at
week's worth of wonderful restaurants to experience, in a week's vacation
That means in order to return to a favorite, or to try some of the
restaurants, one has to stay here for at least two weeks!
Not to mention the incredible edibles for take out in the shops in the
at the market in Cotignac every Tuesday. For a culinary experience of
the area closer
to source, visit the outdoor market. Here one can peruse the typical
Provencal delights fresh from the farmers.
You will see bountiful baskets full of freshly picked produce. The
at the market are perfectly cooked and ready to go. There are locally
and area grown olives cured and seasoned. The local honey comes in so
many variates you will want to try them all. There are various colorful
crocks of tapenade, some
of olive, others of my favorite, aubergine. These are just waiting for
crusty rounds or loafs of freshly baked breads. Let's see.... maybe a
some sausages and we have all the makings for a gourmet pique-nique
By now I guess you realize the absolute impossibility of going hungry
as you can see one never has
to cook. If that is what makes your vacation feel a little easier,
gives you more
time to enjoy, by all means then this is the place. What's more, if you
to cook, well, this is the place for you, also. The market is a cook's
chock full of ingredients that are lively, colorful and fresh. In
addition to the
boucheries, patisseries, boulangeries and shops, the many restaurants and
the square make this village a superb destination for the traveler who
loves to dine well
and enjoy great food. The following will be a short paragraph describing
the cafes and restaurants on the square.
This special restaurant is on the outskirts of the village out in the
A little off the beaten path, you have to get back into your car to get
please do not leave Cotignac without going there! This dining experience
the vines is to die for!
- Le Clos du Vin
With a view of the hills, you are surrounded by the lovely vineyards of
Out under one of those impossibly perfect Provencal skies, this
environment is deserving
of a cuisine of equal elegance. That is, in fact, exactly what you get.
is superb and beautifully presented. The whole experience becomes a
feast for the
senses. This could be one of your vacations most memorable moments.
The sumptuous, smoked duck breast salad is a perfect way to start. The
that followed is so tender, the sauce delicious. It is served with
garlicked and sour creamed to perfection. The cheese course is
delightful, the dessert,
so beautiful to look at, it takes a moment to appreciate. Then go ahead
into a masterpiece. The gateau au chocolate, with glace, assorted fruits
garnishing the plate, presents a pleasurable combination of flavors.
This is one of Cotignac's oldest establishments and has been mentioned
in the Michelin
Guide for years. Be sure to go there for their fabulous Sunday brunch.
find yourself in some very fine surroundings indoors and out. We love to
around and admire the beautiful garden after dinner.
- Lou Calen
While you are here at the far South end of the cours you can walk over to
and have a look at the little waterfall (or ever hike way up to the
The Sunday brunch begins with a buffet of appetizers then follows with
and dessert. Some of the most memorable items were the courgette farci
mousse. I am a great fan of the local favorite, aubergine tapenade.
Theirs is as
good as any you might find in the area, if not better. You will also
find many other items
such as deliciously prepared deviled eggs, leeks, couscous, eggplant, and
After this array of delicacies, the entree was lamb with ratatouille and
puree. For dessert a crepe, drizzled with chocolate and a lemon creme
Just one or two doors to the right of the Lou Calen is an old favorite
on the cours.
It's a lovely shady spot to dine outdoors, at the south end of the
it is cozy, comfortable and interesting. Its interior gets more cave like
the rear and in the kitchen of the cafe. The owner has always been
helpful and friendly.
- Toi Marche
They always have a delicious menu of the day. The last time we were
there, the grilled
lamb was outstanding. We also enjoyed the escargot. They have stopped
crepes but the pizza (try the "Toi Marche" ) was as good as ever.
Since I've never eaten there I can not comment on the sandwiches or other
available. However, here is an ideal spot to sit out under the trees on
and watch the world go by. As you sit here contemplating your good
fortune to be
you, at this wonderful moment in time, keep a restful but watchful eye
out You never
know who you're going to see. Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, who has
in the next village, has been spotted there on occasion enjoying one of
- Bar du Cours
These "new kids on the block" really know how to deliver (No not that
way! Not in
the south of France. You do have to show up. In fact they may not even
have a doggie
bag, so bring your own if this is a need of yours.)
- La Fontaine
The decor is very charming with the local, colorful Provencal fabric used
throughout the cafe. We were able to have the menu of the day on more
than one occasion
the last time we were there, and found it to be very good each time.
generous with a lot of variety. Try the Saltimbocca. The veal rolled,
stuffed with Pruscuitto was most enjoyable. The sauce was very good
with Tagliatelli. As for dessert on the three course dinner menu, it's
now have a place where Tira Misu is one of the choices. Italy
only two hours away, you know.
Right by the lovely Cotignac fountain, this old favorite has more than
the best location
on the square. An important spot to a coffee connoisseur like me, as it
of the best cafe cremes in town. They also serve one of the best
versions of the
local favorite; pome de tere daphenois.
- Bar des Sports
The cook there can really come up with some incredible stuff. I have had
Provencal there that was seasoned to perfection. Really, quite good.
The Veau du
Sicilliana, served in a sauce with aubergine, was dance in your mouth
) delicious. And when they make their Duck a la orange you will
definitely not be disappointed.
For a typical Provencal dessert that is both simple and scrumptious,
have the Frambroise
Fromage Blanc; a dessert glass filled with raspberries covered in fromage
blanc and topped with a crown of chantilly (creme; pronounced: shan
This is an old neighborhood hangout. A favorite for relaxing with a
people watching.You can read all about its local color ambiance in one of
guides. You can bring in your croissants from one of the three bakeries
and have a cafe creme in the morning. There's a place to buy postcards
and a Herald Tribune
(in English if you need or prefer) right across the street at the Tabac.
croissants, paper, and postcards in hand, head for that terrace at the
end of the cours. You can look up to the left and get a glimpse of the
the rocce that adorns the village, and is, along with the Saracen Towers,
Cotignac's principal sights.
- Bar L'Union
Compared to many of the old established cafe's and restaurants in the
place is relatively new. I hear that it gets going when summer is in
Since I have never been there, I cannot comment on the sandwiches,
salads and snack
type fare that they offer here.
- Snack Shop
I know that if they would keep hours that would extend the usual French
it would be most helpful to the traveler. It takes a while to become
the French dining schedule when you just arrive after traveling. In any
that you can always get a sandwich in one of the bars if your flights
9 Cafe du Cours
This place has made quite remarkable transformation in the past few
years. You would
never know it from our photos when we were there in 1985. Just across
from the cours
it has its own terrace. The staff here have been cordial and friendly to
the food has been quite memorable on several occasions.
The cocquille St. Jacque appetizer is highly recommended. Follow this
with the adoulette
du Canard. It is in a peppercorn sauce that is absolutely sensational.
served in a sauce divine, it is also accompanied by ratatouille, carrots,
cauliflower and pomme frittes. Voille!
This cafe stands across from the square with it's own lovely
It's a great place to stop for a beverage, read and or people watch. In
to the snack type food and beverages it also has an inexpensive daily
can get a simple sandwich here anytime.
- Modern Bar
You may be very pleasantly surprised. Fresh Camembert spread on a fresh
eaten out on a terrace in the Provencal sun, can be an unbelievable
Just be open minded and do not expect an American sandwich stacked with
your expectations and just let yourself enjoy something that will never
taste the same
anywhere else. (The same is said of the Lavender Honey. It can not be
and taste quite as good as it does right there, right then.)
Last on the left facing South, but certainly not the least, this
restaurant is off
the main street, and down a side street. Named for the fish, which
you'll of course
find here, cooked to perfection. In fact I'm sure you'll enjoy just
you try here. This place is deserving of much more specific and glowing
than I am able to write at this time. I'll just have to try to make up
oversight next time and take better notes.
- Le Gruppi
It certainly deserves more of a description than this though it's true;
entres and interesting desserts. Being off the main drag, it has quite a
of locals who don't need as much, to be out on that square soaking up
they can of Cotignac sky and sun, before they must depart. I know this
is the only reason
I spend less time at this very fine establishment. If it rains while you
do not despair. Head for this eatery and enjoy the excellent local
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