Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maison Bru, Eygalières

One of the reasons I stopped in Eygalières that morning was to look at the menu for Le Bistro d'Eygalières, a supposedly wonderful bistro I had read about in numerous publications. I went to the address and found a sign saying the restaurant had relocated to a spot outside of the village.

After a leisurely walk around pretty Eygalières, I headed out Route d'Orgon as I understood the new restaurant to be located in that direction. The Route d'Orgon is generally flat and takes you past pastures with grazing sheep and garrigue - scrublands with dense thickets of oak and aromatic shrubs such as lavender, sage, rosemary, and wild thyme.

After driving about 4 km towards Orgon, I spotted the sign for Maison Bru on the right hand side of the road.

I pulled in and read the menu with its mouth watering descriptions of the various dishes. It was after all, just before before midi - noon, and time for déjeuner -lunch. I was by myself and in no hurry so I decided to see if I could get a table without a reservation.

It was my lucky day and I was shown to a table in the wood-beamed dining room; it was overcast and too cold to sit on the large shaded terrace. If you couldn't see garrigue out the window, you could have easily thought you were sitting in a restaurant in Paris. There was not much to remind you that you were in Provence.

Shortly after being seated, I was brought a menu and some tasty bites to munch on while I read over the menu for the day. That day the bites consisted of fromage blanc with garlic and chives, tomato paste, a cilantro and almond paste, olives and green tapenade.

I should mention that on the menu board outside, it indicated there was a Menu Déjeuner for 55 Euros and a Menu Dégustation for 95 Euros. However, when I was seated in the dining room, the only menu offered was the latter menu. If I had been with a group out for lunch, I would have swallowed hard but since I was by myself I was happy to spoil myself.

After selecting a glass of wine from the Côtes du Rhône I looked around the room as it began to fill with diners. It wasn't long before I was brought an amuse bouche by one of the young staff dressed in all black attire.

The amuse bouche was a poached egg in its shell topped with chive cream accompanied by a french fry with pickle ice cream. The ice cream was the color of brine and had a distinct pickle taste. The little dish was unusual but very tasty.

My first course was a cold poached lobster marinated in ouzo served over asparagus spears and wasabi ice cream.

My first fish course was lightly seared tuna accompanied by anchovy mayonaise, foie gras and a frozen ginger mousse.

My second fish course was line-caught sea bass with asparagus mousse, and mushrooms. The exterior of the fish had a slightly crunchy texture from the bread crumbs that coated the fish.

My meat course was a perfectly cooked rack and saddle of lamb from the Pyrénées, the mountains of Southwest France. The lamb was accompanied by roasted garlic, eggplant caviar, roasted potatoes and vegetables.

A perfectly wonderful dish but I was surprised to see that the lamb came from the Pyrénées when there are sheep almost everywhere you look along the Route d'Orgon.

After finishing the lamb dish, I was brought a warm cloth to wash my hands, a nice touch.

Then out rolled the chariot de fromage, literally cheese chariot with a large assortment of cheese and nut bread to acccompany the cheese.

I chose four cheeses; Époisses de Bourgogne, Reblochon de Savoie, Roquefort, and Saint-Félicien.

My first dessert, unfortunately I failed to record the details of the desserts in my journal.

My second dessert.

And finally, out came an assortment of mignardise, an assortment of little cakes to finish my meal, not that I needed anything more but it was hard to not sample these wonderful treats.

I loved my meal and although pricey in my opinion for lunch, I will return. The Boxer at the neighboring table loved being there too. I am not sure if its my imagination but it seems that the breed of dog we see in restaurants most frequently is Boxer.

After I got home, I found out that Maison Bru has two Michelin stars which explains the high costs. I think the stars are deserved as the food and service was wonderful


  1. I'm so excited to read this post! I'm due for a special dinner out next month and I think Maison Bru just moved to the top of my list. But I'll leave my dog at home :-)

  2. Please let me know what you think after you go. I am very sure you will love Maison Bru.

  3. Have you had a chance to try the Brasserie Bru, the new name for the Bistro d'Eygalieres -- in the center of the village and still owned by the same owners? From time to time we rent a house in the village and prefer the Brasserie to Maison Bru. Much better rapport qualite/prix. We've been to Maison Bru three times, but we go very often to the more casual Brasserie Bru (reservations still required), so are well placed to judge.

  4. P.S. Maison Bru has been downgraded to one star in the Guide Michelin.

  5. USQ Foodie - Thanks for checking out my blog and for leaving a comment regarding Bistro d'Eygaliere. I have heard about the Bistro but we have not been there yet. We return to Provence in March and if we are lucky, the Bistro will be open and we can dine there then. I definitely prefer more casual places so I am sure the Bistro will be right up my alley.