This Provençal bistrot is the the best find. I noticed it on approach to Fontvieille, a small town near the Roman town of Arles, where my dad spends his holiday in August. I thought I should make it a point to go back to Le Paradou, as it had a look that caught my eye, as a good place to have a local fare without the tourist twist. Coincidently, my Dad and Danièle had planned to take us there for dinner that night, which was great because you need to reserve at least a week in advance, and they had secured reservations for Friday or so they thought! The irony is that there was a terrible miscommunication and when we arrived the patron, Jean-louis, and his associate turned white as we were in the book for Saturday instead and the place was booked solid as usual. There was only one solution: they asked if we would be all right taking “the table du capitaine” which meant eating at a single table away from the dining room, but right in front of the pass (counter between the kitchen and the diningroom) in full view of the kitchen. My father agreed thank God, and I could not believe my luck! This table du capitaine is normally reserved for hollywood stars and politicians…but today by accident it went to the cooking frog!
- Provence white wine under the platanes trees
- Soupe au pistou (recipe in my next post)
- Local lamb rack with ratatouille or purée or both and artichaut barigoule
- Cheese tray
- Tarte aux poires or Baba au rhum or crème brulée or berries, mille-feuilles…
The lamb was very young, cooked to perfection and very tender,with an amazing taste. The service was perfect and of course, looking straight into the kitchen and watching the meticulous chef ( a woman by the way) carve rack after rack of pink lamb was quite a show. Mireille Pons is a remarkable woman.
Call to reserve at 04 90 54 32 70, worth the trip to Provence from anywhere!