Bonnieux: Le Fornil

I know it’s a lot on Bonnieux, but I really think Bonnieux is worth it.

Le Fournil is one of the restaurants featured in Gilles Pudlowski’s guide to Provence and the Cote d’Azur.  This place is an absolute pleasure.  It fits in perfectly with the relaxed atmosphere and beauty of Bonnieux.  The food is refined yet unpretentious.  The service is friendly and on the lively side, which gives the place a bit of a younger vibe–totally welcome after a week at Mas de Guille (“Relais du Silence”) where we were the youngest people by twenty years.  And judging by the stares I got when I was taking pictures, this place is equally appreciated by tourist and locals alike, which lends credence to the chef’s work.

fournil sign

fournil1

Le Fournil at 7:30pm

We’re early eaters at home, it’s no secret.  But I swear we were eating at 9 and later in Guethary!  But during that first week away in Provence, we were still adjusting.  Add to that the heat and our minimum of five miles of walking per day (assessed by pedometer no less) and we ended up really needing that first reservation of the night.  Plus it made for good pictures right?

fournil menu

Le Fournil’s menu

fournil amuse

Fish paté amuse bouche

I’m a little bit of a wuss when it comes to something like fish paté (and I. even more so) but this was absolutely delectable.  I never expected such a texture to work–but Le Fournil made it so.

fournil salad 1

Petits farcis provençaux servis tíèdes

I have no translation for “petits…” but based on the little I know about Provençal cuisine, stuffed crudité appears to be somewhat of a tradition.  We had several incarnations of this dish at different restaurants and this was indubitably the best.  The stuffing is bread crumbs, herbs, and other fabulous Provencal things.  Sorry I can’t be more specific, but aren’t the colors great?

fournil salad2

Bouquet de haricots vert et cocos frais, ris d’agneau poêlés vinaigrette d’herbes

If only this could be recreated.  I’m not sure what the cut of lamb was, but it was so tender.  Perfect with vegetables and some aged balsalmico.

fournil beouf

Contrefilet de beouf poêlé, chutney de cerises, blettes au jus

The pièce de résistance: contrefilet.  Although my favorite steak of the trip was at Le Madrid (Cote de Beouf with Bearnaise) due to its total simplicity and melt-in-your-mouth qualities, this contrefilet is a very, very close second.  The cherry confit had the perfect balance of sweet and tart to the meat.  Every bite was a pleasure.

As we left everyone was still enjoying.

fournil scene

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Bonnieux: Le Fornil

  1. Vandah7lin

    When my wife and I ate there (as guests of
    local cognoscenti Roger et Mari Helene Violet)
    five years ago, I was served a white bean soup
    that was beyond delectable. It was as if from a
    first-press creamery, with no creme attached.
    It was as memorable a novelty as my first bout
    with Vichyssoise (or any thing pursuant Escoffier).

    The restaurant was clearly beyond the scope of
    Peter Mayle’s contaminating auteur or experience. We felt like explorers up that mountain in Bonnieux, our favorite adjacency to
    Lourmarin.

    To punctuate the mysterious enchantments of the
    evening, clouds murmured among the mountains
    around us, and in a sudden electrical storm, all of
    us at the tables were thrown into a sudden darkness . In a Yankee’s impetuosity, I started to bellow “…Getting to know you….getting to know all about you.”
    The lights went on, and we departed, having felt
    a cross-cultural intimacy that crowned our Provençal ambitions.

  2. If there is a heaven, it is definitely just like the south of France in summer. Except with better wireless.

    Couples house rental next summer? Yes, please!

  3. Terry Rooney

    I believe the author is Gilles Pudlowski, not Charles. The guides are called the Pudlo Guides, useful info when shopping on Amazon, etc.

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