hubby and i had our misgivings when we walked into le jardin du quai. it was rather large and absolutely empty. we could only hear the staff somewhere in the back of the house clanging pots, dishes and silverware. we walked around the garden a bit, and i suppose that the sound of our feet crunching against the gravel had alerted the staff of our presence. we were soon seated in the garden and the waitress explained to us that they only had one 3 course menu for lunch — meaning that we would have to eat whatever we were served with no alternatives or substitutions. that day’s menu included grilled salmon over a couscous salad as a starter, followed by roasted lamb and a strawberry shortcake of sorts. we said yes and the food started to arrive.
the main entree consisted of roasted lamb chops, tomatoes on the vine and zucchini all kept whole. the simplicity of the dish impressed me. hubby, who rather hates lamb, actually thought that the lamb was the best lamb he’s had — it didn’t have that “lamby” taste that he detests. he also gobbled up the tomatoes — provencal tomatoes are delicious. sweet and savoury, they proved to be tastier than the tomatoes we later ate in florence.
i think the strawberry shortcake parfait they served us ranks among my favorite desserts i ate on the trip. it consists of a layer of sponge cake on the bottom of the glass container, layered with the most delicious french yogurt and slightly sweetened strawberries. i could probably eat 10 pots of the stuff!
by the time we left the restaurant, it had filled up nicely and was really rather packed! i guess we’re early birds when it comes to lunching in provence.
with some time on our hands, we took a short drive to chateauneuf-du-pape after lunch . . . but more on that later.
91 avenue Julien Guigue
Vaucluse – France
3 course lunch – set menu – whatever the chef picks – no choices