Sunday, April 17, 2011

Le Tourne au Verre, Cairanne

If you are a regular reader of Our House in Provence blog, you know that wife Shirley and I eat in restaurants often when we are in Provence. Some of that is because we don't get to eat out in restaurants in California much because I am usually at Bistro Des Copains, the French country bistro that I co-own in Occidental California.

We usually go to restaurants that have been recommended to us, I have read about on one of the blogs I follow or the restaurant is in a restaurant guide such as Bonnes Petites Tables du guide MICHELIN, a guide to 600 restaurants throughout France that offer a great three-course meal for less than €29 Euros.

Some time back Julie Mautner at The Provence Post wrote "Where Would Patrica Wells Eat." Patricia is a cookbook author and cooking teacher who lives near Sablet in Vaison la Romaine. For 25 years, Patricia was the restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune. I have a very large collection of cookbooks and among my favorites are seven of Patricia Wells books.

So when I saw that one of the restaurants on Patricia Well's list was in nearby Cairanne, we decided to go try it out. Cairanne sits on a hill with a view east towards Sablet and the vineyards between the village and the Dentelles de Montmirail. Wines produced in the commune are designated Côtes du Rhône-Villages.

We found restaurant Le Tourne au Verre in the center of Cairanne on Route de Sainte Cécile.

Le Tourne au Verre is a restaurant wine bar with a terrace for dining outdoors in nice weather and a large bar and adjoining dining room. We went in the evening and it was sort of cool outside so we chose to sit in the dining room.

Now when we got to the restaurant we discovered that the Le Tourne au Verre offers a four-course menu with amuse-bouche, entrée, plat, and dessert for 25,00 Euros. A great value, only trouble is you have to be an adventuresome diner with no dietary restrictions to fully enjoy it as they only list one choice for each part of the menu.

The wine list is large with 580 selections; we chose a bottle of 2006 Domaine de Mourchon Séguret Grande Réserve. Made from grapes of 60 year old vines, the wine is a blend of Grenache (65%) and Syrah (35%).

For entrée - starter, that night, the restaurant was serving encornets farcis a la brandade haddock, sauce aux poivrons - squid stuffed with haddock brandade sitting on a red pepper sauce.

As I said, Le Tourne au Verre is best suited for adventuresome diners and those with no dietary restrictions. Shirley eats fish but not seafood so the chef prepared her a simple green salad.

For plat - main course, the chef was serving foie de veau, sauce aux raisins, purée de rutabaga et brocolis - braised calf liver with raisin sauce, mashed rutabagas and broccoli.

Again, the chef came through for Shirley with roast salmon with the same raisin sauce and mashed rutabagas and broccoli.

For dessert,we were served cappuccino maison - coffee gelatin pudding, milk chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream.

All the dishes were very well prepared. However, I am not a lover myself of squid or calf liver so I can't say it was a memorable meal. However, I am sure I will return again. The menu changes daily and they have a large well priced wine list.

Bon appétit et a bientôt.


  1. I'll have to put that one on my list!

  2. I have been to the Tourne au Verre since it openend and like their food but unfortunately had a few unpleasant experiences concerning the service so I have struck it off my list of favorite restaurants.

  3. have you been to Clos de la Violette in Aix? Nice place. My favorite, for price and quality, is La Table Marseillaise here in Marseille.

  4. I'm glad you got to try one of Patricia Wells' recommendations, I really enjoy her books as well. Photos look lovely, but I agree, sounds like you have to be a pretty adventurous diner from their offerings! Thanks for sharing your review.

  5. Wow, 25 euros for four courses is a great deal! I'm not too picky, so I'm sure I would enjoy it. :)

  6. Meredith - If you are an adventuresome diner, the food is very good and well worth the visit.

    Barbara - The service was fine the night we were there and the chef was very willing to accommodate Shirley's food restrictions.

    Megan - Thanks for the suggestions; we will definitely check them out.

    Tuula - I'm a fan of Patricia's cookbooks, as the recipes work great.

    Camille - I'm sure you would like the restaurant. The wine list is very good too.

  7. in french?
    Alors, un grand merci à votre blog et vos visites,je travaille sur un projet dans votre région et vos suggestions de restaurarants sont très intéressantes pour moi, vue que je n'ai pas souvent le temps d'aller voir tous les villages etc.
    Donc, merci mille fois! J'espère que nous deviendrons des voisins!
    Pour le moment, je suis de l'autre côté, le Luberon....

    1. Bonjour. Merci pour votre message. J'espère que tout va bien. Je suis désolée que ça ma prit si longtemps pour lire. J'aimerais bien faire votre connaissance un jour.

  8. Please notice that Tourne au Verre now has changed owners, and the new owners have decided to go for a low-cost approach to both food and wine. We are sorry to say this, but Tourne au Verre is no longer our favorite restaurant. Eating on the terrace is still enjoyable, the restaurant still have a very good selection of wines from Cairanne - but I could have prepared and served the food better myself...

  9. I am very sorry to hear the new owners have taken that approach. Tourne au Verre was a very sweet place to go for lunch or dinner and the service and food were always excellent. Thanks for the heads up. We won't bother to go there.