Let’s face it, when you go to France, you’re not expecting any bad meals, are you? In the south-west of France – in Provence – it’s like they invented eating or something.
Point in case, I was watching that awesome Japanese show Iron Chef the other day and I realised it’s always poor old Iron Chef French – Hiroyuki Sakai – who gets challenged by the visiting upstart cook.
See. Even in Japan they think French food’s pretty good. So we weren’t worried as we headed into the little town of Lorgues – about an hour north of St Tropez.
Sitting quietly at the end of the main street near a little fountain, La Table de Pôl’s outdoor seating and welcoming ambience drew us in and before we knew it we were gazing at the menu.
Here’s what we ordered and ate:
La Table de Pôl
We decided to go with the €41 five-course degustation – or stuff-your-face option. I think we chose wisely!
This is just a little appetite-inducer to get your taste buds going. It’s a new word for me. Mrs Romance, who’s much more sophisticated, just frowned when I laughed at it.
Lobster creme – a little pot of chilled lobster bisque with crouton. Creamy, delicate lobster flavour.
I chose the Duck pâté – with tasty salad of frisée & pansy petals. It came with a strange cinnamon banana bread slice, but pate was buttery & smooth.
Mrs R went for the mushroom carpaccio – with finely sliced capsicum and a light olive oil dressing. There was also a fresh salad of mixed leaves & flowers – fresh & light start, but still quite filling.
Mrs R had the firm white fish with a herb sauce, fresh local mushrooms called ‘cepes’ and flowers, and a creamy pumpkin mash. The dish came with very tasty grilled yellow capsicum and spring onions.
I ordered the veal fillet with penne carbonara – perfectly cooked and rested pink veal with pumpkin & potato mashes, baked capsicum for sweetness. The carbonara was cheesy and creamy, served in mason jar. A mescal salad came in the mason jar lid.
Of course there was a cheese course!
Trois chèvres. These three goat’s cheeses were all so different, they really showcased the range of flavours you can get from chèvre. The blue was creamy, liquid, smooth & buttery. The ashed was nasal, powerful and thick. The hard cheese was chalky, sharp and nutty.
Thought I’d go a bit wanky here and add the French version!
I went for the entremet chocolat-praliné et caramel a la fleur du sel – also known as crispy praline, salted caramel, chocolate mousse in a cake casing with vanilla ice cream. Amazing.
Mrs R headed straight for the moelleux au chocolat et amarenas au sirop – a rich warm chocolate fondant cake with a drizzle of glacé cherry reduction and a quinelle of vanilla and cinnamon ice cream on a puff pastry biscuit. Incrediblé.
The coffees that came after were well-made and were accompanied by little shortbread biscuits with a plump, ripe raspberry balanced on each.
We were just able to waddle off to the car. It was an epic meal, but a delicious one. And the service was extremely friendly and professional, though relaxed enough for us to enjoy our surroundings.
There was also a little shop connected to the restaurant that sold house-made sauces and marinades. It also sold many of the things used to set our table, like this salt cellar. You grate the Himalayan salt rock over the ceramic teeth.
I bought one for my mum. She loved it. Or at least that’s what she told me!
We had many excellent meals while we were in France. But this was very much a stand out. If you’re ever in Provence, be sure to make the journey to La Table de Pôl. It’s in a book, you know!
And if you stay with Heather and Steve (very much recommended), say hi from us! Here’s link to their cottage on AirBnB.
La Table de Pôl
18 Place Georges Clemenceau, 83510
Tell us about a great meal you’ve had in the comments. We’re always looking for a good tip-off!