Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bistro Preface, Roaix

As we do our daily errands and travel to villages and wineries throughout the northern Vaucluse Department, our route often takes us past the small village of Roaix about 7 kms north of Sablet.

Just past the rond-point (roundabout) in Roaix, on the Route de Vaison-la-Romaine, there is Le Grand Pré, a gastronomic restaurant (one star in the Michelin Guide) owned by husband and wife team Raoul and Flora Reichrath.

One of the first meals we had in the area after signing the papers for the purchase of our house was at Le Grand Pré restaurant with our friend Ferney; we have been fans ever since.

The couple recently opened a casual bistro called Bistro Preface next to Le Grand Pré restaurant where you can enjoy the chef's wonderful food for less than 30 Euros per person.

We had not eaten at Bistro Preface so last month we decided we would do just that. You enter Le Grand Pré restaurant and Bistro Preface by way of a narrow walkway into a walled courtyard perfumed by the herbs growing for the kitchen's use.

The courtyard is divided into two parts, one side for Le Grand Pré restaurant and the other for Bistro Preface. We were welcomed and seated at a small table without tablecloth in keeping with the casual feel of the Bistro.

We were surprised and pleased to see that Jean-Hugo, son of our friend Daniel Roger, chef and patron (owner) of Maison Bleue in Villedieu, was going to take care of us. He is a student at a hotel school in Nîmes.

Shortly after being seated, we were brought a plate with a ramekin of creamy anchovy puree topped with a lone anchovy and one of hummus topped with a few garbanzo beans to spread on the accompanying little toasties.

We looked over the wine list and picked a bottle of 2007 Domaine Jean David's organically produced Les Levants, a delicious blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cournoise and Syrah from nearby Séguret.

For entree (starter), wife Shirley chose the caesar salad with delicious but unusual for a caesar salad, additions of sundried tomatoes, nicoise olives, sesame seeds and various herbs.

I decided on the Brandade de Morue with croutons and fish soup sauce. This was a rich, deeply flavored dish of salt cod with a yummy sauce. You can have the Brandade served warm or cold; with Jean-Hugo's help, I chose to have it warm.

For my plat (main course), I decided on the Navarin d'agneau, tomato braised lamb cubes with potatoes, carrots, and celery served with a dish of fusilli pasta. I love lamb, especially braised and this was delicious.

As you probably know from reading Our House in Provence blog, Shirley is mostly vegetarian but she does like fish so she chose grand aïoli. Bistro Preface's version included steamed cod with carrots, pea pods, cauliflower, boiled egg and a pungent garlic aïoli sauce.

We both ended our meals with petit cafés and vacherin; layers of chocolate, vanilla and meringue.

We went without reservations and I recommend you go, but not without reservations, especially during summer.


  1. Food presentation looks amazing but then its France!
    Lovely photos as usual!

  2. Whenever you do posts like this, I immediately go to google maps to see how far my village is from the restaurant!
    I love your blog, it's my own little restaurant guide to Provence :-)

  3. The lamb dish looks fabulous! Any chance of a recreation at Bistro Des Copains?

  4. talesfromagarden - Thank you! Yes, French chefs seem to have a way of presenting food in a way that really gets the taste buds going.

    Sara Louise - Thank you so much for very nice comments. I love blogging about Provence and especially about the restaurants and food and wine we have there.

    Tricia - I am sure we will have a braised lamb dish on the menu at the Bistro this winter. Thanks for checking in on my blog.

  5. Danna - It was definitely yummy! Thanks for checking in on my blog.