St Remy de Provence
We’re in St Remy looking for somewhere to eat, but our regular haunts (La Casolette and the Bistrot des Alpilles) are closed: it’s the end of the season, after all, and things are winding down. We’re not inspired by Les Saveurs current menu (too much focus on veal), so we’re walking along the Boulevard Mirabeau trying to decide. We settle on Numero 25, mainly because it looks so stylish inside. The set menu looks interesting too; it’s a little expensive compared to other places in the area (thirty two euros for three courses) but still very reasonable by British standards.
I start with the carpaccio de boeuf charolais, which is perfect – soft and melty and utterly indulgent. Philip has the tataki de Thon albacore, slices of lightly seared tuna served with a spicy wasabi sauce. Again, it’s very nicely done.
My main course is a pave de Thon albercore – a fish pie – but it’s not like any fish pie I’ve had before. It’s served with an attractive (empty) lobster head, and it’s in a pot with a pastry crust, which is crisp and quite delicous. Inside, there’s a generous selection of prawns and mixed fish, although there’s perhaps a bit too much bulgar wheat in the base, bulking out the meal. Philip opts for the Parmentier de canard confit, which comprises chunks of duck and truffles under a garlic mashed potato. It’s great – tasty and richly flavoured – but would definitely benefit from some kind of vegetable accompaniment.
Pudding is crumble pomme & caramel salé, which is big on apple and short on crumble – just what I need after my hefty main course. It’s served with vanilla cream, which I don’t eat, but it’s a pleasant way to end the meal. Philip has the moulleaux coulant au chocolat, a fondant, which is nicely cooked, crispy on the outside and oozing in the middle. It’s served lukewarm, rather than hot, which does rather diminish the pleasure, but it is quickly devoured.
Again, we eschew the wine – we’re not sure why: but we just don’t fancy a drink. All in all, we’ve had a lovely evening – an interesting and imaginative menu that has left us feeling comfortably satisfied.