Restaurants & Bars

Long Trip Report: 6 days in Provence

darbi | Aug 15, 201611:48 PM     5

Thank you chowhounders for contributing the my previous post -

As promised here is my trip report.

Due to a whole bunch of travel delays, we arrived at Avignon on a Sunday at 6pm. Which meant our choices were very limited.

7/31 - Le 5 Sens, Avignon
Due to lack of options on Sunday, I booked this restaurant because it was mentioned on this board. I would not recommend it. As I approached the restaurant, I realized that I had dinner at this restaurant 2 years ago. I ordered the cassoulet then and remembered it being very salty. Uh-oh, warning signs flashing. I attempted to look for another restaurant nearby but really, no great options on Sunday unless I went for Chritian Etienne and I wasn't ready to sit down to a long meal after a even longer day of traveling. So we settled for Le 5 Sens.

And just as I remembered, everything was overly salted. Why do they feel the need to season the tiny croutons on the amuse bouche to the point that it just tasted like giant grains of salt? Even to an ex-Newyorker like me who can handle sodium, the level of salt here was ridiculous and totally unnecessary. The prix-fixe dinner was reasonably priced (about 30 euros?). We had smoked fish for appetizer, and a white fish for main and you guessed it, both salty.

Not a great intro to Provence but luckily, our airbnb house was awesome so we were relaxed and happy.

8/1 - Mas des Vertes Rives, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne
After picking up the rest of my family at the station, we went in to Avignon around 3pm, which meant that we missed lunch completely. We went into the main plaza with the merry-go-around and sat at what seemed to be the most crowded restaurant. We ordered moules frites and a few other things and guess what, the mussels were so salty again we could barely eat it. This salt thing is quickly becoming a recurring theme.

At night, we went to a nearby ferme-auberge for dinner. It was a lovely farm house, with animals grazing nearby the lodge. We were the only guests eating dinner there so it was a little weird, and my mom was becoming a bit skeptical at the place.
The hostess was friendly enough and served us aperitifs that they made on the ground (lavender wine, and a few other wine made with fruits they have in the farm), really delicious stuff. We then picked the most expensive bottle of wine they had, which was what 15 euros? Gotta love Europe for this. The appetizer was a flan of courgettes - totally awesome and finally perfectly seasoned! Main course was roasted chicken served with baked mille-feuille of vegetables and a pile of roasted potato. Unfortunately, the chicken and the potato were again too salty, but not to Le 5 Sens level. The chicken was edible, but a bit dry. The roasted vegetables was fine. It was a lot of food and we were stuffed. My aunt was tired from 14 hours of travel so we skipped dessert and coffee. I think if the place was not totally deserted we would have had a better (less skeptical) time there. The setting was quite unique, but food was just OK.

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