The restaurants recommended in this blog have all been visited by me and my wife and often with friends. We have visited them at least once. I only recommend restaurants that have a quality that, in my opinion, makes them worth a visit.
Some are world class restaurants, some are very simple, but the food is always worth the price and the chefs have prepared it with pride and love of good food.
The food is essential for being mentioned here. Minor problems when it comes to service and other things are mentioned but does not disqualify them from being recommended.
We have also eaten in some restaurants in the area that do not leave any memories worth writing about.
Finally we have been to very few bad restaurants and have been badly serviced in a few.
These three categories are marked differently in List of Restaurants.
marks our special restaurants. On the map they are found by the red marks and in the search term list under coup de ceur

Friday, June 15, 2012

L'AUBERGE du VIEUX PUITS ♥


L'AUBERGE du VIEUX PUITS - 5, Av St Victor 11360 Fontjoncouse.
Guide Michelin

The three-star restaurant L'Auberge du Vieux Puits is located in the small mountain village Fontjoncouse that has a little over 100 inhabitants. You reach the village through the winding mountain roads with stunning scenery. The food is prepared by the eminent chef Gilles Goujon and despite times of crisis, it is difficult to get a table even on an ordinary weekday. They are open both at lunch and at dinner. Their lunch menu Bienvenue au Pays costs 60 euros, their major menu 110 and the chef's surprise menu is 130 euros. The lunch menu is only offered on weekdays.
The most honest thing to say about eating at L'Auberge du Vieux Puits is that one gets a dining experience that goes beyond what one gets at all the usual gourmet restaurants we have visited. It is not just a meal but rather a show for all senses. The friendly, relaxed service and the tasteful decor contributes to the total experience.

If we compare the perception of the visit a few years ago when the restaurant had two stars, I should say that the food earlier did appeal more to the eye than the palate and in some cases the food was a bit strange with attempts to be a bit artsy fartsy. Now the kitchen, in my opinion, has matured and become more of a harmony between the senses. All dishes are still very beautifully presented but what strikes me is a balance of flavors where one have used an intelligent combination of modern molecualar techniques and the best of traditional country cooking tastes.

What was very positive was the unpretencious way they talked about the food. We were told in simple words in French or English, what we were served. No elaborate descriptions that has become so popular among some finer restaurants and that just makes the customer lost and uncertain. As an example, it was served an oyster dish with a ganish of genuine caviar from sturgeon. If it was Russian or Iranian caviar we were not told because it was simply called "fish eggs".

On the minus side one has to mention the wine prices. In some cases they add 1000% to open a bottle of wine from a local vineyard. On the other hand the wine is quite affordable from the local producers so the price is still reasonable for a restaurant of this class. A plus is that you can buy selected wines by the glass, which, however, costs 10 Euros/glass. In conclusion one must say it's pretty unique to be able to eat a lunch in a three star restaurant with wine and coffee for about 90 euros per person.

Revisited July 20. 2012
Together with friends from Sweden we visited the restaurant to try their set lunch menu. Last time we were there with the same friend we had one of the more expensive menus. As always the visit was more than just a meal. Everything was absolute perfection. Among the remarkable thing we got the second little tasting dish is worth mentioning. It was a lightly poached oyster in a large shells on a bed of very tasty something that we could not identify. In the shell there was a large pearl almost the seize of a Ping-Pong ball that we had to crush with a little hammer and the content poured out on the oyster covered in smoke. I will not say anything more about the food – it was just delicious. Every attempt to describe it in words will just fall flat on the ground. Go there and enjoy!

Revisited May 2013 for son's birthday: It is hard to imagine it could be better. For the second time we had bad luck. We thought it was a weekday they served their normal affordable lunch menu, but as this day was between two holidays they only served their more expensive menus. I am actually joking – OK it became twice as expensive as we thought it would be, but both our guests and the food was worth every euro.
As always it was more than a meal – it was an experience for all senses. The service is very correct, professional and performed with quite a lot of humor. The food is of course absolutely world class. For every dish we thought it was better than the one before – in the end we could not really decide what we liked best.
Besides the small things that opened our senses in the beginning we got a tomato made of sugar and filled with mozzarella accompanied of a lovely gazpacho.  This was followed by a combination of fresh white asparagus, a tail of langouste and a lovely newly picket large morels filled with langouste cream –absolutely divine. Next course was a perfectly cooked back of turbot that was inspired by the taste of the Antilles. Finally we had a variation on all parts of suckling goat that was something else. For the first time I tasted goat liver that was fantastic the way it was done here. The cheese trolley was as always magnificent and as it so often is the desserts formed a spectacular finale.
Do I have to say that my son David and his spouse Jessica were overwhelmed by the experience and appreciated to talk to chef Goujon and tell him how much they enjoyed it. :

Revisited July 2013: Absolutely fantastic as usual! They are beginning to know us now.

WEB: http://www.aubergeduvieuxpuits.fr/
LATEST VISIT: 2013
NUMBER OF VISITS: 8

Reasons for the :
It does not get better than this. Oh yes - there are eight higher valued restaurants in the entire world, but I can not afford any of those, but this I can - at special occasions. This is the place for celebrations and for a treat. You will never forget it.

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