CHEAP EATS: BONNIEUX AND SAINT DIDIER

A tacit culinary assumption is that one does not dine posh everyday. Here are two budget-respecting joints hidden from view with no roadside markers that are a quick jog to local wine co-ops:

Restaurant de la Gare, Quartier de la Gare, Bonnieux, Tel : 04 90 75 82 00

Serves lunch only every day from noon except Sunday. A huge fave among locals.  During the summer, take a leisurely repast on a quiet terrace that looks out onto the countryside and Bonnieux. Service is efficient and polite. Fixed menu of 14€: cold buffet, choice of daily special or chef’s choice, cheese or desert along a small carafe of wine or sparking water.  Other wines available.

Directions: Take N36 from highway N100, direction south towards Bonnieux. After 400 yards turn right at large reversed-V shaped wooded driveway. Coming from Bonnieux on N36, you pass the Cave de Bonnieux after 4.5KM, and the driveway entrance is about 200 yards on the left.

Pizzas “le Repaire,” Roundabout Cave La Courtoise, Saint Didier, Tel: 06-24-78-79-09

Open everyday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Takeout only.

Twenty-two varieties of tasty Italian-style pizza light on cheese. Plain cheese and tomato is 9€. The “4 Seasons” with tomato, cheese, ham, onions, artichoke hearts and olives is 9.5€, idem for all the other selections.  Remi the courteous dough-flipping pizza maker takes phone orders in advance. No delivery.

The roundabout is located at the intersection of D1 from Carpentras to Venasque and D4 from Pernes-les-Fontaine and Mazan. Coming from Saint Didier, follow signs to the Cave La Courtoise. Le Repaire, nestled among oaks, is just north of the roundabout on D1, direction Carpentras, opposite side from the Cave La Courtoise.

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