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Southern France - Input on Food Itinerary Requested

JohnTalbotWannabe | Jun 28, 201512:58 PM

We are planning a honeymoon in late October, part of which will be in Southern France. After the very helpful posts on this board (thank you!), we have planned the following tentative itinerary, as far as dining is concerned.

In choosing restaurants, our main priority is in the food: one of us is inclined towards gastronomic or creative dishes, whereas the other wants to mop up a gorgeous sauce with fresh bread. (Fulfilling the stereotypes as Americans from the Midwest, our palates for wine are incredibly unrefined, so wine is not much of a factor.) Our second priority is a tie: (i) having an inviting ambiance, whether it be cozy or romantic or a gorgeous view; and (ii) being able to walk around after dinner, rather than having to jump in a car. We also prefer a large dinner instead of a long lunch.

The cities chosen are being dictated generally by the non-food attractions of the trip, which we have omitted from this post.

Any comments, criticisms, or suggestions are welcome.

Friday night through Sunday night we are staying in Nice.

Friday afternoon snack: socca (hopefully Chez Pipo)

Friday night: La Flaveur.

Saturday lunch: L'ane Rouge (for the bouillabaisse or the bourride) or Le Cafe de Turin (for the oysters).

Saturday dinner: Le Chantecler or Le Bistro Gourmand.

On Sunday, we plan to take a day trip, including to Monaco and Menton; also Eze if time permits.

Sunday lunch: Mirazur (Menton)

Sunday dinner: Louis XV (Monaco) or Le Chantecler (Nice). In the latter case, we'd do Gourmand the night before.
Question: do people think we will be disappointed going to Chantecler instead of Louis XV? We prefer to do Mirazur for lunch and dine in Nice at night (to attempt to walk off the obnoxious caloric intake in one day). But we are willing to go to Louis XV if the cuisine at the two do not even compare; we're less swayed by the white-glove service.

On Monday, we will drive to Cassis.

We have read people rave about the bouillabaisse experience at Bacon, including Chef June referring to it as "don't miss." The issue is that we would be at Bacon at 10 or 11 am and would not want to eat lunch that early. Although we know we will not get the same presentation elsewhere, we hope we could get comparable taste and quality at one of our other stops.

Also, if anyone has any great snack/pastry recommendations on the way to Cassis, please let us know; we plan to stop in Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

Monday dinner (Cassis): Fleurs de Thym, or if we're more interested in a view, Chez Gilbert.

On Tuesday, we will drive to St. Remy, stopping in Aix-en-Provence.

Tuesday dinner: L'Oustau de Baumaniere or La Maison Juane.

On Wednesday, we will drive to and around Arles. We are considering lunch at Atelier Rabanel in Arles.

Wednesday dinner: Le Bistrot Decouverte or Bistrot du Paradou.

On Thursday, we plan to drive to Crillon le Brave, stopping in Avignon for a chunk of the day. We are thinking about La Fourchette for lunch.

Thursday dinner: eating at the hotel.

On Friday, we plan to drive to a few villages in the Luberon.

Friday dinner: La Bastie du Capelongue (Bonniuex) or La Bartavelle (Goult).

On Saturday, we plan to drive through Cotes du Rhone villages (specifics TBD). Any snack recommendations? When we drove through Burgundy, we had a great experience at Fromagerie Gaugry. Any similar cheese tasting recommendations?

Saturday dinner: L'Oustalet (Gigondas).

On Sunday, we are driving to Gorges du Tarn. If anyone has any great snack/pastry recommendations on the way, please let us know; we plan to stop in Nimes and, time permitting, Montpellier.

Putting aside the concern that we would sink a canoe at this point in the trip, has anyone gone canoeing in the Gorges in October?

Sunday dinner: Chateau Caze.

On Monday, we plan to drive to Carcassone, with a stop in Narbonne. We would be interested in suggestions for a (not long) lunch in Narbonne.

Monday dinner: Le part Franck Putelat or Le Comte Roger. The former seems to only have a Spanish menu online, which seems odd. Has anyone eaten there recently?

Thanks in advance for any input!

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