Sunday, July 04, 2010

A refreshing restaurant, run by young professionnals

A stone’s throw from the crowds munching a standard meal on Place de l’Horloge or in the tight maze of pedestrian streets, the Hermitage restaurant enjoys one of the most carefully laid open air dining area in Avignon, rue Figuière, a very central square shadowed by the fresh walls of the church of St. Didier and ancient plane trees. The chef is from Avignon, but inspired by his early career experiences in Asia. His eye for detail and creative alliances is already a mark of this restaurant-cum-wine bar that is the opposite of a tourist factory, while maintaining low prices. The menu is resolutely oriented towards fresh produce of Provence, but in a "fusion cuisine" perspective. Check the excellent goat cheese and honey nems, the salmon tartare with fresh spinach, the rather amazing duck breast with gingerbread, and even the fillet of sole cooked in a banana leaf ... For wine, if the reasonably priced menu allows for a little luxury, give priority to the great classics of the region, including the Crozes Hermitage, a heady cote-du Rhone which inspired the name of their restaurant to Freddy and Jo, the two young managers from Vaucluse. After extensive training, including in the Opera Cafe, they run their first own business here - after having completely renovated it themselves, including the dining room with its vaulted ceilings.
Acces: Carpark Halles or Jean-Jaures. Easy walking access, 100 meters from the Rue de la Republique (follow the small street between McDonalds and Fnac, and then enter rue Figuière,  past the House of poetry and Utopia Republique cinema.)