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Grimaud: Le Coteau Fleuri

Place des Pénitents , Phone:

Reviewed by: azuralive from France, review #2674

When: 2007

My taste buds forever fallen for their creamy Crème Brulée Citron...

Directions: By the Chapelle des Pénitents, Grimaud

Warning: This dish and its tinge of lemon may haunt you..., photo by

It has been three weeks since my lunch-time experience at Le Coteau Fleuri, above the Bay of St. Tropez, in the perched village of Grimaud, on a terrace above a valley with the thick green Maures Mountains behind it.

I can still feel the crème brulée on the palate - rich like creamy yogurt, with a tinge of lemon and a thin crust of caramelized sugar hard enough for my spoon to slide over.

We were tied up in knots from having been stuck in traffic on the coastal road to St.Tropez. We wanted to lose the crowds. There are plenty of restaurants in impeccably-restored Grimaud, most of them huddled around the Place de l'Eglise. We walked away from the center of the popular village, heading west until we reached the edge of town.

Behind the Eglise des Pénitents and its giant cypress tree, we found a wooden gate with a box displaying a menu. Lunch, with two glasses of wine, three courses, 30 euros. We hadn't set out to splurge, but the desserts hooked me, as usual: - Financier aux griottes et à la vanille - Tarte au nougat de pomme - Crème brulée au citron

We opened the gate to the plush garden of a little hotel/restaurant, Le Coteau Fleuri. The terrace for lunch was secluded, facing a sea of trees and hills.

We were pampered by the waitress, who only had a couple of other tables to serve.

- "After the Voiles de St.Tropez sailing event, traffic will ease up," she said, adding that although it was September, she still had to leave before 9 a.m. to drive to work without too much hassle from Bormes-les-Mimosas.

The soup was a Minestrone de Brandade - with the crumbled cod fish adding a surprising tasty twist to the classic.

The Pagre Poele à la tomate seemed simple enough. Green (baby zucchini with lightly pan-fried flowers), red (peppers) and peach (sea bream). The combination was perfect, with each piece adding a delicate touch to a very light and subtle trio.

Then came the crème brulée. I've had decent ones before, but this one made my taste buds boogie. Something to come back for.

Not that we would ever eavesdrop, but our neighbors raved about the cozy atmosphere of the hotel in the winter when tables are set by the fireplace.

Hmmm: a crème brulée by a fireplace on a cold Cote d'Azur day. Something to come back for some day ...

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

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