Has anyone eaten there recently?
Years ago, this was truly a destination restaurant, one of the most famous of the provincial 3 star palaces.
M. Vergé built a pleasant little empire in Mougins: the Moulin itself, with rooms and apartments attached, a second tier restaurant called L'Amandier de Mougins, a wine shop (La Cave du Moulin), a shop selling gifts and linens (La Boutique du Moulin), a cookery school. He published 5 very well received cookbooks.
But over the last 5 years the Moulin slipped in the Michelin ratings from 3 stars to 1. L'Amandier, which once had 1 star, lost it many years ago.
We ate at the Moulin last June. It had the distinct feeling of being tired and unambitious. One speciality, a stuffed and truffled squash blossom, was very good, but most of the dishes were merely adequate and the service was far below what one would expect in a restaurant of this class. The sauces were thin and faded, and the puddings were elaborate towers of froufrou completely devoid of excitement or freshness. The most memorable element of the evening was a final glass of very good marc that I had to request three times from the sommelier, who was occupied with a large coach party at a table nearby.
The prices, on the other hand, seemed not to have come down with the restaurant's rating.
L'Amandier, in the old village, was not much better, though the prices were lower. When a man at the table near us lit a stinking cigar, the waiter shrugged: "What can I do?" he asked -- this even though the restaurant specifically asks guests not to smoke cigars or pipes.
Local people told us that Vergé had waged a lengthy but unsuccessful battle with the village over a large motorway that now passes near the Moulin. After that, he told people that he no longer cared.
But now the Moulin has recaptured one of its two lost stars (see the press release in the French section of the Michelin website).
Hence my question: has anyone tried the Moulin de Mougins in the last few months? Has it regained its spark? How does it compare with other two star restaurants?