Posted by: Kristie | October 5, 2009

Movin’ and Shakin’

For the past week, we’ve been laying pretty low. We’ve visited some nearby towns, shopped at the local markets and drank café au laits in the village cafe, but mainly, we’ve been taking it easy. Part of the reason is that we needed a break. Going non-stop for three weeks and Brett being sick, we needed some down time. But we’re rested, healthy and ready to tackle Provence.

Yesterday was the kick-off, so we got up early (8 a.m., yes that’s still early for me) and got on the road to L’Isle sur La Sorgue. This little town is known for their Sunday antiques market so we thought we would check it out. Out of all the markets we’ve been to so far in France, this one was definitely the largest and most crowded. The small roads were packed with vendors on both sides of the river selling fragrant soaps, myriad spices, crisp linens, fresh vegetables, roasted chickens and much more. Most of the merchandise we have seen in other markets, but there were some unique stalls. I thought there were going to more antiques, but we didn’t walk the entire market so there may have been more.

Lavender in the MarketView of Market and RiverAntique Weapons

After we finished perusing, we headed to Café Fleurs, which is located right on the river and in the heart of the market. We’ve only eaten out once in France, so I did a little research and thought this would be a nice lunch, with decent prices. Unfortunately I can’t read French and I didn’t bother to translate the web site.  I saw the lunch menu which was labeled at 18,50 and 23 for two courses and three courses respectively. What I failed to realize was that it says except Sundays. Regardless, we remained hopeful that it the food would live up to its price. We were seated on a lovely vine-covered terrace, overlooking both the market and the river, with the sound of falling water in the background. The atmosphere was very peaceful.

Pretty napkin holder and menu

Pretty napkin holder and menu

Both of our lunches started out with an amuse bouche of a chickpea soup. It was like velvety, buttery liquid hummus. I wish had taken a photo because it was served in frosty blue shot glasses and topped with a lone sprig of rosemary.

I ordered the three-plate menu so next I received Ravioles de pétoncles au beurre de thym, spaghettis de courgettes or ravioli filled with little scallops in a thyme butter sauce and topped with zucchini spaghetti. I strongly believe that anything laying in butter sauce is going to taste good and this was no exception. The ravioli was actually similar to a wonton texture than pasta, but I think it helped to make the dish lighter. The dried thyme is incredible here, it’s extremely flavorful and aromatic.

Scallop Ravioli in a Thyme Butter Sauce

Scallop Ravioli in a Thyme Butter Sauce

Next, was my main dish Dos de cabillaud poêlé,cotes et vert de blettes fondants, émulsion à l’orange or pan-fried cod over a bed of greens in some type of orange sauce. This unfortunately missed the mark. The bitterness of the greens did not work well with the sweetness of the sauce. But the fish was good and obviously it was still very edible.

Pan-fried Cod over Sauteed Greens

Pan-fried Cod over Sauteed Greens

 Brett ordered off the a la carte menu and chose the Coeur de filet de bœuf Montbéliarde, réduction de vieux vin,tombée de girolles et échalotes confites, pommes paille or Filet of beef with wine reduction sauce, chanterelle mushrooms (i think) and cripy little french fries. I obviously didn’t try the beef, but the mushroom/sauce/potato strings were delicious. Brett felt the beef was quality, but their cooking did nothing to enhance it.

Beef Filet with a Wine Reduction Sauce

Beef Filet with a Wine Reduction Sauce

We ended the meal with Crème de café Arabica à la façon Cappuccino, espuma aux noix caramélisées or cappuccino mouse with carmelized walnuts. The French know how to whip up some mousse and work that cream. This was delicious.

Cappuccino Mousse with Carmelized Walnuts

Cappuccino Mousse with Carmelized Walnuts

All in all, it was a good meal. But was it worth the money? We didn’t think so. Plus, the maitre’d was a bit snooty, very stereotypical French. The atmosphere was lovely and if we were able to order off the typical lunch menu, I think it would’ve been a complete winner.

After lunch, we drove another hour to the Pont du Gard. But seeing as this post is getting pretty long, I will save that for another day.



  1. Sorry if you are getting this comment 3 times (I have been having internet issues today).

    Love the play by play. You sound like you’re a judge on Top Chef. What a sophisticated palette you have!

    • Thanks Katie! I did get your comment three times, but I just deleted the two extras.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: