Monday, September 26, 2011

Les Abeilles Restaurant, Sablet

After a fun day wandering around Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (more about that in later posts), we returned home to Sablet and sat down on the terrace for aperitifs and to figure out what we were going to do for dinner that night.

I didn't feel like cooking, not an infrequent occurrence with good restaurants close by, so we (wife Shirley and niece Leslie) decided that we would see if we could get reservations for dinner at Les Abeilles restaurant, right there in Sablet.

Successful, we walked the short distance down the hill to the restaurant which is located at the entrance to the village. Note, the picture below is the entrance to the village coming from Gigondas, not the entrance where Les Abeilles is located.

Les Abeilles literally translated the bees restaurant, is owned by Marlies and Johannes Sailer who prior to opening Les Abeilles Restaurant owned L'Oustalet in neighboring Gigondas for quite a few years.

There is a wonderful terrace at Les Abeilles Restaurant that is perfect for dining alfresco on warm sunny days and evenings and a cozy dining room for cooler or inclement weather. Although this was July, it was not that warm so guests were being seated in the dining room.

As soon as we sat down at our table, Madame Sailer brought us menus and a plate of toasts and various flavored bread sticks to dip in a small bowl of pistou which accompanied the toasts. While we nibbled on the Chef's amuse bouche, we studied "la carte" which offered a variety of multi-course menus to fit appetites and diner's wallets.

We chose the 44.50 € 4-course menu consisting of an avant propos (a foreword to a meal like a foreword to a book or story) chosen by the chef, an appetizer, entrée and choice of either dessert or cheese selections from the cheese cart.

After looking over the wine list, we selected a bottle of 2010 Chateau La Couranconne Séguret Rosé, a delicious crisp, chilled blend of cinsault (60%), grenache (25%) and syrah (15%) to accompany our meal.

Shortly after we were seated, 4 diners sat down at a nearby table and hearing English being spoken, we asked where they were from. Turns out that Frank and Ellie were from Calistoga which is close to where we live in Northern California.

Shirley being always the good marketer for our Bistro Des Copains, gave them a business card and extended an invitation to come dine at the Bistro which they did a few days ago.

Wife Shirley enjoying herself at Les Abeilles.

That night, Chef Sailer served plates of tuna rillettes for the avant propos to start the meal.

Shirley was in the mood for a simple salad and Chef Sailer prepared her a composed salad of mixed greens and raw vegetables dressed with vinaigrette; she was very happy with her salad.

One of the starters included a simple plate of melon with jambon from Noire de Bigorre pig, the most ancient breed of pig known in France. Similar to the Spanish Iberico, this breed is deep black in color and originated in the foothills of the French Pyrenees.

Our other starter was a beautiful plate of roast lobster over an haricots verts and peach salad.

Main courses included local lamb chops roasted perfectly medium rare as requested,

a pan-roasted fillet of Lieu Jaune, commonly known in English as Pollock,

accompanied by a side dish of seasoned steamed rice and carrots.

I had the roast pigeon, generally called squab in English, from Comtat with lemon confit

with a side dish of roast potatoes, carrots and other summer vegetables.

Shirley and I had the mille-feuillles also known as Napoleon with raspberries and vanilla ice cream.

Leslie chose an assortment of cheese from the cheese board, opting for something more savory than our sweet dessert.

As we finished our meal, Chef Sailer came out of the kitchen to say hello and chat for a few minutes. Another great meal from Chef Sailer at Les Abeilles. If you are in the area, don't hesitate to go to Les Abeilles, you won't regret it. We will be back soon.

Bon appétit mes amis et à bientôt.


  1. The entrance into Sablet looks so pretty, maybe one day I will get down there to see it for myself. I have not been to the South of France since I was a child, so maybe we will head in that direction at some stage. So much to see, so little time, and travel gets more expensive! The meal looks fantastic especially the roast pigeon. Diane

  2. Sablet is lovely. I have never been, but I would sure like to see it. As for the dinner,m Ohh laa laa, I can say that the meals I cook don't even come close to that. My mouth was watering just looking at those photos. Les Abeilles certainly knows the good stuff!

  3. Wonderful description about an excellent restaurant.

  4. I'm definitely remembering this resto as a place to try when we are over in your neck of the woods.

  5. Diane - You are right about so much to see. I hope you do get to Provence someday. I think you will love the area.

    Ashley - Come visit Sablet and make sure you save time to dine at Les Abeilles. Oh and let me know so we can meet up.

    Les - Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well with you.

    Meredith - Definitely a very good choice for dining when you are in the area, especially on nice days when you can sit out on the beautiful terrace.