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Bonnieux: L’Arôme

2, rue Lucien Blanc , Phone:
Closing day: Wednesday

Reviewed by: Doug Phillips from Canada, review #2834

When: 2007

We dined at L’Arôme three times during our 10-day sojurn in the Luberon in September 2007. It has become our new favourite restaurant in the area.

Directions: Partway down Bonnieux, near the lower church and close to Le Clos du Buis B&B.

Magret de canard, L'Arôme restaurant, Bonnieux, photo by

New in 2007, L’Arôme features a 3-course menu at 28 euro and 38 euro, as well as à la carte selections. Owned by Clara and Jean-Michel Pagès, the restaurant is a wonderful place to enjoy an excellent meal with friendly service in a very pleasant setting.

We enjoyed three meals in September 2007, one each on the patio, the first room inside the door and the larger interior room carved out of the side of the hill. The menu includes a good selection of regional wines. The totals for our meals ranged from 95 euro to 108 euro. The grilled duck breast (magret de canard), shown in the photo, quickly became our favourite plat. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Kaydee from TN, review #2603

When: 2007

New restaurant in Bonnieux, ideal for a special lunch or dinner. We love the location and the food. Highly recommended!

Directions: Located on a tiny pedestrian street (just up from the Clos du Buis B&B) which stretches between the Rue Victor Hugo and the Place Gambetta.

l'Arome, photo by Kathy Wood

L’Arôme is a new restaurant in Bonnieux (opened in the spring of 2007), located in the space previously occupied by La Cavette. It is owned by a couple, Clara and Jean-Michel. Jean-Michel is the chef and Clara manages the service. We've eaten there twice and will definitely return.

On our visit for dinner in late July 2007 we were attended by Clara, a woman I thnk was Clara's mother, and a young man. The service was attentive and helpful. We interacted in French, so I'm not sure about English... but I believe they have English menus available.

The setting is quite special - built into the hillside in two adjoining caves of beautiful limestone. There are three intimate and very attractive dining rooms and some small terraces out on the street for outdoor dining. The kitchen is open to one of the dining rooms. The environment really is beautiful with interesting light fixtures, original art, and attractive table settings. Our dinner took about 2-1/2 hours. We had aperitifs, some had an entree, we all had main courses, and we all had dessert. They are open for lunch and dinner.

Two of our group ordered one of the three-course menus, which offer a few choices for each course. (There is a €28 and a €38 menu.) One thing that is a bit unusual about this restaurant (compared to the other better restaurants in Bonnieux) is that they also offer some number of a la carte items.

For the three-course meals, our friend Doug had a beautifully presented tomato entree, followed by a grilled fish called "bar" (sea bass from the Mediterranean). The fish came head on, sliced open across the back and filled with some sort of stuffing. Doug said it was excellent. Carol had a salmon entree followed by "lapareau," which is a young rabbit. Another positive report.

I had the magret de canard (duck breast), grilled and sliced thin... simple and wonderful, with just a bit of balsamic vinegar. My husband and daughter both had filet de boeuf, "bien bien cuit." They were both very happy with their meals, and it was served to their order (sorry - "bien cuit"). We had sides of a potato dish and vegetables.

The meal was served with warm bread... actually little rolls.

For wine we stepped outside the local Luberon wines and had a Tavel rosé from the Côtes du Rhône... actually two bottles. A perfect choice.

We all had dessert. Charley and Kelly had a kind of red fruit mousse called a "bavrois." I took our server's recommendation and had a warm apple crumble with just a bit of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Doug and Carol had creme brulee.

A French couple next to us ordered one of the house specialities: a "bar" for two people cooked in a salt crust which was brought out and served tableside. Clara brought several fish out for them to choose from, and the one they selected was enormous. Clara prepared their plates and then the fish was left there on a cart for them to take seconds.

L’Arôme is elegant but not pretentious, and reasonably priced compared to similar restaurants. It's become one of our favorite places for a special meal in the Luberon.

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

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