One of the prettiest spots around here is the idyllic Mas de la Rose, just down the road from Eygalieres in Orgon.
The grounds sprawl over acres, carpeted with lawns, gardens, olive trees, and the beautifully restored mas, now a vacation destination for the discerning traveler. The rooms are beautifully appointed and the pool has a white sand beach at one end for total relaxation. It’s a perfect place for a wedding, honeymoon, or quiet getaway.
A few years back, an enterprising team opened a restaurant here to provide fine dining for guests. Potager du Mas (garden of the farm) is a delightful place to sample the best of Provence – fresh produce from the garden with local meats and fish, prepared and presented with exceptional creativity and care.
We have been coming here since just after its opening, introduced by a local friend to co-owner manager Franck Reveniault. Franck is charming and engaging, always making a meal here a wonderful experience. We hosted him at our home in January, and were looking forward to seeing him here.
He greeted us with a big smile and seated us inside (unfortunately, the wind was blowing a bit too hard for dining out on the terrace). He brought us kirs, joined us with a glass of wine, and we toasted being together again. In January, Franck had spent time in South Florida and then was going to the French Caribbean for a week of sailing around Guadeloupe, the Saintes, Dominica, and Martinique in an 11-metre sailboat. From the smile on his face, he obviously had a grand time, and was looking forward to another trip. We told him to make sure to build in time to spend with us in Boca.
Then, to lunch – light, but exceptional.
For starters, a tarte tomate – a slice of lightly-breaded eggplant covered with thinly-sliced tomatoes and a touch of mozzarella was in order. While we waited for that, and a bottle of Chateau Romanin rosé, we enjoyed fresh-from-the garden radishes with anchoiade and tapenade.
The tarte was wonderful, not too heavy, and bursting with flavor. For main courses, I ordered the cod, and David the Iberico pork. Both were a treat to the eye and taste, perfectly done and beautifully presented. We entered into a bet as to the ingredients in the mashed potatoes accompanying the dish. David said the yellow color was because they were made from jaune pomme de terre. Fat chance. I said the color came from the butter that made them smooth and flavorful. A one Euro bet went down, and Franck confirmed that – once again – David was going to lose money. The potatoes are yellow, but they are mixed with butter, olive oil, and a little ricotta cheese. David all but called in F. Lee Bailey to argue that – because the potatoes were yellow – he was right, but I gave him one of my Cosa Nostra looks and he paid up.
I passed on dessert, but Franck convinced David that we had to try their fresh-picked strawberries with homemade ice cream. The dish arrived garnished with two pieces of caramelized sugar that looked like Lucy ears, a fresh raspberry and a cherry. The strawberries were wonderful, sweet and rich, and the ice cream simply superb.
We passed a bit more time talking when we could, but several more tables had arrived, and we didn’t want to tie up Franck, so left, promising to come back next week for lunch or dinner.
The weather had warmed up about five degrees (Celsius) and the wind abated a bit, promising a gorgeous afternoon.
A few errands, then leftover pasta for dinner (which was even better than yesterday.)
Guy Knox, who manages the property for the owners, came by around eight pm and we spent a couple of hours catching up on all that was new with him. He just celebrated his 50th birthday by having his family come to Eygalières for a week, followed by some time in Spain. Sounded like they all had a grand time. We bade Guy good night and turned in.
Tomorrow we are having lunch at another favorite, owned by friends, Mas du Capoun in nearby Molleges.also