Memories and Inspiration for Food, Travel and Life
The hotel and restaurant l’Alain Llorca in La Colle Loup near Saint Paul de Vence in the Cote d’Azure has a very enviable location. Situated with an outdoor dinning space with the mansion filled valley and Saint Paul rising above in the background is enough to impress nearly any tourist. My impression is that much of Alain Llorcas clientele are tourists, looking forward to their Michelin starred (one) meal in Provence. Many of the ingredients are what one would expect of the region, tomatoes, artichoke, olives, soft cheeses and herbs. A mini pissaladiere was the amuse bouche, which was appropriate, well seasoned and enjoyable.
The menu is not expensive on its own and in addition there is a decently priced wine pairing you can purchase with the menu dejuner. We went for lunch, and started with a glass of champagne. The waiter brought a cart with nearly 15 champagne choices, I can’t imagine why one would need so many options but it was fun to choose. We also decided to have the sommelier offer a wine suggestion. This was a little alarming because the first bottle he showed us was around 180 euros. The wine list is certainly extensive, but incredibly expensive. In the end we had a lovely bottle of rosé for around 50 euros; I love wine but can name only a handful of times the big price was worth it in taste. Besides, nothing goes down better in the warm Cote d’Azure summer than rosè.
My starter consisted of a stuffed artichoke, soft herbed goat cheese and tomato relish. It was tasty, and certainly Provençal. My husband ordered the chefs tasting menu, which was more expensive than mine by about 12 euro. His starter was a tomato focaccia with mustard sorbet. This looked more like thin crust pizza (which I do enjoy) than focaccia. Also, I imagine because of the heat (?) there was no visible sorbet to be found nor did we taste mustard in the dish.
When I read lobster in a bouillon of lemongrass and ginger I was instantly transported to ze amazing dish at Ze Kitchen Gallery. I shouldn’t have done that because this was a different chef in a different restaurant. The dish was tasty (after I added salt, which anyone who knows me I rarely find the need), there was a decent amount of lobster, and the vegetables were perfectly cut, julienne. My husband had salmon with chanterelles.
My favorite part of the meal, besides the amazing view and kind waitstaff, was dessert. A tray of around twelve different desserts came for you to choose. Some, like baba au rhum, we’re very classical…but I must have won the lottery with my three chocolate cake. Heavenly mousse inside a dense, dark choclate exterior with white chocolate accents. My husband ordered a caramel, nut dessert which was good as well.
Chef Llorca was kind enough to come around and say hello to our tables after service, I always
Iike being able to thank the chef in person without surprising them in the kitchen. It was a very enjoyable experience at Alain Llorca.
There is also a culinary school associated with the restaurant for those who might be interested in learning some cuisine from Provence. They have valet parking.
350 Route de Saint Paul – 06480 La Colle sur Loup – Tel +33 (0)4 93 32 02 93 Fax +33 (0)4 93 32 02 90 – France firstname.lastname@example.org