Wednesday, December 5, 2012

La Salle à Manger in Provence

It was October 31.  Provence was having a cool spell with rain.  The Trout and I were looking for a wonderful place for lunch.  We came upon the village of Flayosc.  A few restaurants were open, but we liked what we saw through the window and the menu which was posted outside this little restaurant.   We closed our umbrellas and entered a very charming room.

We were immediately greeted by the host of Restaurant "La Salle à Manger," Ronald Abbink.  In perfect English, he welcomed us and seated us by the window.  Robert and his wife, the chef, Liesbeth,  came from Holland and today was the 11th anniversary of opening this restaurant.

We were served amuse buche which was a warm strip of beef wrapped around a sage leave.  Outstanding.  Eaten so quickly, no photo.

Ordering was difficult because we wanted it all.  But, I have to say, the first course was the most outstanding we have ever experience.

What you see above is an absolutely delicious mushroom soup.  First he brought out a hot bowl with hot sauteed mushrooms, a slice of foie gras and a spoonful of marscapone cheese.  Then the magic.  He brought out a clear glass teapot with boiling hot beef broth which he poured over the bowl contents.  Absolutely delicious!  As the foie gras and marscapone melted, it added a delicious "fat" to the soup.  This, by far, has been one of the most outstanding presentations ever.

In the foreground you see The Trout's duck breast with confit in a red wine, grape and fig sauce.  This was accompanied with potatoes baked with a cheese, perhaps like Comte.  Absolutely delicious!

My main course was monk fish on a bed of lentils with a mushroom cream sauce.  Absolutely delicious!  Love French lentils and brought some home with me on this trip.

Now you are thinking, how could these people possibly eat dessert.  Well, when in France, it is really possible.

The Trout had a beautiful slate plate of different cheese from France.  Quite often you will have a choice; cheese or dessert.  Well, if you know me at all, it has to be dessert!

Oh yes, a most perfect poached pear partially wrapped in baked pastry along with a dipper of pear sorbet.  Absolutely delicious, but I think I have said this once or twice before on this post.

We enjoyed a glass of red wine each with this meal as we had miles to go before we got back "home."  This was such a outstanding meal with the most wonderful and friendly people who own this restaurant.  Since the day was rainy and we were the only guests this day, even the chef came out of the kitchen to welcome us and we were able to thank her personally for a perfect meal.

Quite honestly, this is the main reason we love France so much.  The food and the wonderful people we meet.  This will forever remain as a most memorable meal.  I do hope, in your travels to France, you will look for the village of Flayosc in Provence and Restaurant "La Salle à Manger" at 9 Place de la République.


  1. What a wonderful meal!

  2. It would be difficult to express how much I am enjoying these posts about your trip to France, even if they do make me a little hungry!

    And I love the last photo of the two of you enjoying this experience together!

  3. The meal looks and sounds fantastic! And what a cozy little restaurant! Maybe, but really doubtful, I need to return to France as when we were there, there was nothing but hostility for Americans. It is a beautiful country though!

  4. Wow that looks amazing, I am very impressed. Must track this place down. Keep well Diane

  5. Oh to have a slice - a morsel - of the duck! I looooong for a taste!

  6. I can understand why this is your most memorable meal. Meeting the chef is the highlight of any meal and being the only patrons made it feel like it was prepared especially for you. How romantic and charmingly French.

    Greedy me, I can't wait for more of your adventures.

  7. Just now catching up after 10 days without internet (****** France Telecom!) - love the photo of the two of you! And since we have friends who lie near Flayosc I will go to this fabulous restaurant soon!

  8. Susan, this has to be one of the best described and photographed restaurant meals I've seen. I love how the mushroom soup was presented.


  9. Oh, my goodness, Susan!! Just have a short while of quiet this morning before the Little Men hit the ground, and I am drooling over ALL the goodies you've posted about... but your cake and this mushroom soup take the prize! YUM! Wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmases! blessings ~ tanna