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Plaisians: Auberge de la Clue

Phone: 04 75 28 01 17

Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: SL Jones from IL, review #2112

When: 2006

This favorite restaurant has it all - food, setting, and a great value. It is memorable.

Directions: Plaisians is on the north side of Mont Ventoux, in the Drome Provencal. Not far from Vaison-la-Romaine.

We’d been to this restaurant in 2003, and counted it as a highlight of our dining experiences that year. We had to go back, and it was better in every respect than we remembered.

First of all the setting, which is certainly worth highlighting. It’s UP there, in a tiny village that reflects the character of the Drome Provencal, somewhat Alpine and somewhat Provencal. The scenery on your way to and from Plaisins is amazing – it overlooks, at close range, the summit of Mont Ventoux, from the north. The terrace is quiet and nicely landscaped, and you can see the summit as you dine. If you can, go when it is clear and sunny. If you dine inside, you will find a very stylish country dining room. It is maybe 30 minutes from Vaison-la-Romaine, and it is a beautiful drive.

Now, the food. What a value. We ordered the €23 menu, and it surpassed anything we’ve had this month in the way of quality and quantity. We were given a “cadeau du maison” (gift of the house) of head cheese, which we would have never chosen, but will admit was quite tasty. Then entrees, plats, cheese course (exceptional choices, very generous), and desserts. As this was autumn in the mountains, there was game on the menu, but we chose lamb and monkfish as our plats. The potato gratin that was served to us as a side was memorable. I want to highlight the Salade Fruits de Mer that was my entrée. It was a mound of shellfish and smoked fish, very very fresh and delicious, with greens. It alone was worth coming up here for.

If we return to this area, we will return to this restaurant, even if it requires a good drive to reach it.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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