> SlowTrav > France > Restaurants > Reviews > Provence

Coustellet: Maison Gouin

N100 , Phone: 04 90 76 90 18

Closing day: Wednesday, Sunday

Reviewed by: kaydee from TN, review #1535

When: 2005

Unique restaurant behind a butcher/grocery shop. Recommend for lunch and dinner. Excellent value. Pick your own wine from the wine cellar!

Directions: From Apt and points east, take the N100 toward Avignon. At the crossroads in Coustellet, turn left toward Cavaillon, then immediately left into a parking lot where you'll see Maison Gouin.

The wine cellar at Maison Gouin, photo by Becky Verastegui

This popular restaurant is located in the back of a wonderful butcher/grocery shop at the main crossroads in Coustellet. There are two main dining areas and a few small tables right in the shop.

We enjoyed this restaurant at both lunch and dinner, two totally different experiences.

Lunch features a plat du jour, which is an outstanding value. You might get a salad, main course, dessert and a glass of wine for 10-12 euro. An a la carte menu of local specialities is also available, communicated on a blackboard. Most people seem to order the plat du jour.

The restaurant takes on a different kind of elegance at dinner. Dinner is a set meal of five courses: complementary aperitif, entree, main plat, cheese, and dessert. The menu is posted on a board outside at lunchtime, but we just went prepared to be surprised. We were never disappointed with the menu and ended up eating great food we probably would not have ordered. An alternate choice is offered for children and if you really don't want what is being served, you can inquire if there is anything else possible. One unique twist of this restaurant is the wine cellar, located underneath the shop. Guests go down to the wine cellar to inspect the offerings and bring back their selections. There's a variety of wine at a range of prices, all of which are less expensive than a typical serviced wine list. We also enjoyed the cheese course, where you assemble your own plate from a buffet of maybe 20 different cheeses.

Madame Gouin and her assistants run the busy dining room. Madame is very friendly and speaks excellent English, but we'd suggest making an early reservation (7:30 pm for dinner) so she has time to give you some special attention. Dinner cost 32 euro per person, about half that for children who don't get the aperitif or entree course.

Maison Gouin is a very popular place with locals and visitors. You will need a reservation for lunch or dinner, at any time of year... perhaps even a few days in advance.

We had lunch at Maison Gouin maybe three times and dinner five or six times. It was the "special place" we went to eat during our six month stay in Provence. Our out-of-town guests loved it. We highly recommend it!

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

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