Domaine de la Maurette is my second home, and though I use my grandmother’s idyllic house in the South of France as my escape from the blogging world, I cannot resist writing a short piece on the restaurant that resides up the road.
The vines here provide delicious wine so it seems sensible to build a restaurant in the middle of the vineyards. The establishment, named ‘La Maurette’ is now a favourite for locals, though popular too with tourists in the know. As the chef often changes at La Maurette so does the food served, however one thing always remains, the modest and homely atmosphere. I have very fond memories as a child enjoying the delicious lightly battered courgette flowers at this restaurant, it was I think even a highlight of the holiday. Sadly these unusual salty treats are summer fare, however a lengthy, varied a la carte menu, and a cheaper daily menu is on offer.
My family are famously difficult to please, especially in the food department, so a trip to eat out is always a slightly fractious occasion. Luckily La Maurette were welcoming and patient and allowed us time to choose and then correctly pronounce our choices. With a table of eight there were lots of dishes I could mention but it seems wise only to tell you about the best and worst, what to choose and what to avoid if you did ever visit this authentic Provencal eatery.
The menu du jour cost a very reasonable 13 Euros and the main menu a more expensive 24 Euros. Lovely La Maurette Rose (which I think is the best variety of this wine) arrived on the table to accompany our food. To start: ravioli with sundried tomato was richly flavoured but too al dente, the gnocchi rather bland and heavy, the vegetable tart was well seasoned and tasty and rabbit terrine went down well. The best starter in my opinion was the goat’s cheese salad, very fresh with creamy strongly flavoured cheese.
Mains were enormous… I saw my family’s anxious expressions as the feast was placed in front of us. Half the table had ‘faux filet’ steak with peppercorn sauce, chips and vegetables which was surprisingly good considering the low price. The sauce was absolutely delicious, very light and creamy with whole green crunchy peppercorns, the mixed vegetables were very tasty too. The chips were a little disappointing, soggy and unsalted. The lamb with couscous from the daily menu was not a resounding success, sloppily presentated and bland. Aubergine Moussaka looked very yummy, piping hot and extra cheesy, my sister loved it. The other dishes seemed to go down well but nothing else stood out as being particularly special.
How we still had room for dessert I do not know and yet, crème brulees, floating islands, chocolate mousses and tiramisu all disappeared within ten minutes. The puddings were lovely, simple and classic and well presented. The crème brulee had an interesting lime zesty flavour and apparently the floating islands were sublime, though I didn’t taste them to confirm this! Before settling the bill a few of the team received complimentary strong espressos.
There is something very lovely about eating in the Maurette restaurant… the Provencal vibe, the lively chatter, the sense of community. Perhaps what makes it most special is that while you sit here eating, you are surrounded by luscious vines that make the wine that fills your glass.
Visit the website for more information here.