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Goult: La Bartavelle

Rue du Cheval Blanc , Phone: 04 90 72 33 72
www.bartavelle.free.fr
Closing day: Tuesday and Wednesday

Reviewed by: 1855cru from NC, review #3968

When: 2012

Classic Provencal cooking at it's best, served in a charming townhouse setting.

Directions: Arriving in Goult, follow signs for Le Village. You will come to a large parking area in the main square. Park here if you can. Walk up the road past the Cafe de la Poste and take the first road on your right, Rue Cheval Blanc. The restaurant is 50m down on the left.

Autumn has arrived in Provence and though the weather has been delightful of late, the cool, crisp nights and the gold, russet and red tones in the vineyards mark the season well.

So too the changes in restaurant menus from the lighter summer menus to more substantial and heartier fare. A few days ago I went to one of my favourite restaurants in the Luberon, La Bartavelle, in Goult and enjoyed a fabulous autumnal meal.

First up was a velouté de potimarron et moules du Mont Saint-Michel, fleurette au thym. An absolutely delicious soup and my introduction to the cute and tasty potimarron a type of squash that looks a bit like a very small pumpkin and tastes like chestnuts. The sweet, earthy notes worked well with the mussels and the savory edge provided by the thyme. Roasted seeds from I assume the potimarron added some nice crunch. Terrific dish, I wiped my bowl clean I have not noticed the potimarron (also called red Kuri squash I believe)at my local market in the US but I will definitely be on the lookout for this tasty treasure.

Next course was pigeon du Luberon et sot-l'y-laisse en brochette, fricassée de champignons, boulangère de butternut. All I can say is wow, this hit on all levels. Elevated country fare that is exactly what I look for in Provence. Inventive but not frou frou and beautifully cooked and presented. The pigeon was a perfect rosé and seasoned just so. The oysters were marvelously gamey with a melt in your mouth texture. The mushrooms and butternut were a confident supporting cast.

I had a little cheese for dessert, all chèvre from local farms with a little fig jam made from the lovely figs from Caromb. Wine was a stellar Rasteau from Gourt de Mauten.

This tiny restaurant turns out beautifully prepared and thought out dishes, seek it out if you are ever in the area, you won't be disappointed. Reservations are a must as the restaurant can only seat 24 persons. It is a good idea to reserve several days in advance, even in the off season as the restaurant is also popular with local residents. Note, they only open for dinner and are closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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

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