As I told you here, it is 91 km from Sablet to Céreste, so we stopped for lunch on the way at a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand restaurant in Caseneuve, a village on top of a hill about 13 kms from Céreste.
Caseneuve is an attractive little village (population 505 in 2015) in the heart of the Luberon, near Apt. The skyline of Caseneuve is very distinctive and can be seen from miles away in the valley. Conversely, once you are in the village, there are majestic, far-reaching views.
|Hilltop village of Caseneuve|
We got to Caseneuve and found the Sanglier Paresseux (The Lazy Boar) restaurant without any difficulty. The restaurant which is owned by the chef Fabricio Delgaudio opened in April 2009.
Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, the chef arrived in France in 2005 and worked in some of France's most prestigious kitchens such as those of Alain Ducasse and of Yannick Alléno at the Hotel Meurice before opening Le Sanglier Paresseux.
|Le Sanglier Paresseux Restaurant|
We were seated immediately in a pretty dining room where it seemed most tables were occupied, which I thought unusual given it was well into October and Caseneuve is somewhat off the beaten path.
As soon as we were seated, a tray made of slate was brought to our table bearing corn bread with olives and jambon. We nibbled away while we all perused the menu.
|Corn bread with olives and jambon|
As soon as we made our choices and passed them to our server, the chef sent out an Amuse Bouche of velouté of squash in small cups. It seemed we were off to a good start, I didn't expect otherwise since we are rarely disappointed by Bib Gourmand restaurants.
|Velouté of squash|
The meal and service were excellent.
|Château La Verrière|
We all chose the same entrée to start our meal, except several opted to forgo the gambas.
|Velouté of butternut squash with gambas|
For our main course, we selected one of the three options which follow; scallops and clams with mashed potatoes and caramelized leeks with saffron sauce.
|Scallops and clams with mashed potatoes and caramelized leeks with a saffron sauce|
|Quail stuffed with foie gras, sautéed foie gras, carrots, pumpkin, broccoli and deep fried banana|
|Rouget of Roche with same set up as quail except for foie gras|
We kept seeing this beautiful tray with cheeses of all type passing through the dining room and knew at least one of us was going to have to sample the cheese selections.
Right after Shirley made her choices, we heard a loud clatter and that beautiful platter of cheese went crashing down as the server tripped on the steps leading back toward the kitchen.
|Selection of cheese with honey|
For those of us who were indulging in dessert plus ice cream later at Scaramouche Artisan Glacier, our choice was the parfait shown below.
After we paid the bill, we spent a few minutes exploring Caseneuve before we headed to Céreste to eat ice cream.
Caseneuve is dominated by its castle, which looks outsize considering the rest of the village, and indicates the ambition of the ruling family that built it in the 970s. This family, the Agoults, then moved on to other strongholds and took their wealth and connections with them, so the village never grew to catch up with the size of the castle. All that is left of them is their enigmatic motto: “Lilia sustentant turres” (the towers sustain the lilies).
Although it is not open to the public, from the outside you can still admire the somber architecture, the ramparts, the towers and high stone walls bleached white with age.
|The castle of Caseneuve|
Many of the tiny side streets you come across end quickly in private gardens or front porches, and a couple minutes walk in any direction will take you out of the village. But what you do see in the village are ancient stone-walled houses lining narrow streets with vaulted passageways.
|Caseneuve pottery shop|
The gigantic and unusual oratory seen below is the largest religious shrine in Provence (1830) and can be found set in rural surroundings at the entrance to the village. It was built to commemorate a Franciscan mission trip and shelter the mission's cross.
Some of the "newer" houses are integrated into the old fortifications of which three original defensive towers still remain.
The "Cercle de L'Union" seen below is an association whose mission is to help foster the development of culture, arts, sports, social life and economy of Casenueve.
|Le Cercle de L'Union de Caseneuve|
The church seen below is dedicated to Saint Etienne and is very old, probably going back to when Christianity was introduced to the Apt region. The church was expanded and modified in the late 1600's. The first clock was hung in 1737. The two clocks that were put up in 1902 were blown to the ground in 1945 by a strong Mistral and was replaced by the small iron campanile seen currently.
|An elderly woman enjoys the sunshine|
I would not drive all the way from Sablet just to dine at Le Sanglier Paresseux Restaurant or visit Caseneuve. However if you are in the Apt area, Le Sanglier Paresseux Restaurant would be an excellent and highly recommended place to dine. Don't hesitate.
Le Sanglier Paresseux Restaurant
Tel: 04 90 75 17 70