There is pleasure in the predictable. When Michelin announced that first-time one stars were being awarded to the Restaurant Prévôt in Cavaillon and La Closerie in Ansouis in the Luberon, their gratified clients were hardly astonished as these establishments have been attracting rave reviews for years. Michelin is just confirming the obvious.
At the Restaurant Prévôt, they prepared to be anointed with a star in the manner in which a star gets ready for an Oscar-winning part: a total makeover.
A worn exterior and slightly weary interior – the French would say that the place was désuet – was transformed into a smart modern lively look that is a perfect counterpart to the ebullient toujours souriant chef Jean-Jacques Prévôt. (pictured with his daughter Sandra Rose who looks after the dining room). The new décor debuted in December.
Whereas the menus are seasonal, Jean-Jacques is legend for his summertime melon specialities – Cavaillon being the epicenter of melon production with its sweet dark green-stripped variety. There are two melon tasting menus offered in season.
Highly creative, Jean-Jacques transforms burgers into a sunburst of flavors, such as Le Mac Prévôt,” (not your usual Mac-Do) – no beef, rather roasted foie gras. Did you say melon ketchup? In brief, the Prévôt is a total culinary blast.
Restaurant Prévôt, 353 Avenue Verdun, Cavaillon, France, Tel 04 90 71 32 43. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, Menu 26€, at lunch, 46€, to 115€, at dinner, and à la carte, menus are seasonal with melon featured in the summer. Excellent Southern Rhone wines. Closed Sunday and Monday except July and August, and Holidays. Located in center of town.
A jewell is La Closerie: minature and intimate; a small outdoor terrace affords a peaceful view of green pasture. It is here that for over ten years the chef Olivier Alemany along with his charming wife and maître d’hôtel Delphine have been delighting customers with their exquisite cuisine. Olivier trained at the Intercontinental Carlton in Cannes.
Lunch menu “Clin d’oeil” at 25€, dinner menus at 38€ and 65€. and four entrées and dishes à la carte from 18€ to 30€, and four desserts at 10€ each. The wine list has superb Luberon wines. Presentation is divine, service is top-flight, as Michelin would expect.
La Closerie, Boulevard des Platanes, 84240 Ansouis, France, Tel 04 90 09 90 54, Reservations a must. Closed Wed & Thurs and Sunday evening, Call to confirm summer hours. Directions: Six miles est of Lourmarin: take D27 towards Cucuron, then D45 to D135 to the Ansouis, then left on D37 to Blvd des Platanes. Website
Note: Le Pavillon de Gallon is nearby.
Here are the other haute cuisine restaurants in the Vaucluse that all maintained their Michelin stars:
Domaine de Capelongue / Edouard Loubet, Bonnieux (photo r.)
Christian Etienne – Avignon
Hôtel D’Europe – Avignon
Le Diapason – Avignon
Le Saule Pleureur / Laurent Azoulay – Monteux
La Petite Maison / Eric Sapet – Cucuron
Domaine de La Coquillade / Christophe Renaud – Gargas
Les Bories – Gordes
Le Vivier – L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (photo L.)
Le Phebus / Xavier Mathieu – Joucas
La Fenière – Lourmarin
Le Pré du Moulin – Serignan Du Comtat
Le Moulin à Huile – Vaison La Romaine
Le Grand Pré – Roaix
Restaurant Dominique Bucaille – Grambois