A tacit culinary assumption is that one does not dine posh everyday. Here are four budget-respecting joints in the Luberon to pop into this fall:
Restaurant de la Gare, Quartier de la Gare, Bonnieux, Serves lunch only every day from noon except Sunday. A huge fave among locals. On warm days, 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.
La Casa Rosario, Gordes: Having upgraded the wine bar L’Estaminet on the main square, Pascal Gabetta moved up in the world — about thirty feet in altitude — to sprinkle his magic culinary dust on the Casa Rosario, a restaurant — pizzeria that is a fave among local residents who appreciate an excellent value and a high-spirited ambiance.
Pascal gave the Casa Rosario a modest makeover: expanded an outdoor dining area, purchased a boutique next door to expand the entry way and room for a wine cellar, and converted the entire menu to Italian fare featuring imported Italian pastas, meat and cheese.
Casual atmosphere and reasonable prices. Serving pasta and salads along with an excellent wine list. Dining room, terrace and garden seating are set back from the street offering you relief from gawking tourists and car noise.
Restaurant La Flambée, Bonnieux. Take tasty pizza on the terrace with a panoramic view when the Mistral is not blowing as Bonnieux faces north into the teeth of wind, or in a cozy dining room. The pies have very thin crusts. Friendly pizza chef (photo below in basics). Local wines.
Du Pain sur la Planche, Coustellet, Try the tartines of the new owners Michel Civiale et Marie Jousset, or well-prepared standards such as salads, pastas, risottos, charcuterie plates and tartare. Convivial atmosphere. Covered terrace and parking in a large lot across the street.
Restaurant de la Gare, Quartier de la Gare, Bonnieux, Tél: 04 90 75 82 00, 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. Lunch only from noon. Closed Sundays.
La Casa Rosario: Lunch service from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Closed Tuesday night and Wednesday lunch; Center of Gordes, Route de Murs (80 feet from main square up the hill on the right). Tel: 04-90-72-35-56, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Restaurant La Flambée, 2 Place 4 Septembre, 84480 Bonnieux, Tél: 04 90 75 82 20, Directions: As you ascend through Bonnieux, on the right near sharp left turn, Closed Mondays. Open only weekends in Nov and Dec.
Du Pain sur la Planche, 100 Route Cavaillon, 84660 Coustellet, Tél: 04 32 52 03 88, in the center of the village, Directions: arriving on D900, take right at stop light if driving east, or left if driving west.