Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – Auberge Pierry, Reillanne

We have pledged to visit a different hostelry in the locale every Friday for the next year and bring to you, our passionately interested readers, our rating and assessment of each and every one.

Yes.  It’s a restaurant review.

We have two rules :
1. If there is a Plat du Jour (special of the day) one of us must order it
2. Rule one does not apply if the Plat du Jour is Andouillette.

(Andouillette is basically intestines wrapped up in a sausage skin.  I’ve never eaten it, but the LSH has resolutely tried it a couple of times, trying to figure out what the French see in it.  The last time, I sat in between the LSH and the ED as they both sampled andouillette in the Café du Cours in Reillanne.  The waiter had extolled its virtues, and convinced them that it was “very, very special.”  I might as well have been sitting in a cowhouse – that’s what it smelt like.  Both of them tried hard to like it, that day, and both agreed it was in a lovely sauce, but it still tasted like it smelled.)

So, no, thank you France, you make great food, but we’re steering clear of the andouillette from now on.
Auberge Pierry is very close to our home base.  It’s located right on the N100, so it’s very handy for anyone who’s travelling from Avignon to Forcalquier, say.  We had heard that it had a solid lunch trade, so we were expecting quite a few other diners and were a bit disappointed to find that there was only one other table occupied the day we visited.

I opted for the €14.50 Menu du Midi (lunch time special) : Salade de Crudites, Rôti de Porcelet and a choice of desserts.  The LSH went for the Menu Provençal, at €18.50, which gave a few more options, but he chose Tartare de Chèvre, Lapin à la Provençale and the same dessert options.

We’ve eaten in Auberge Pierry before, when it was under different management, and felt that while the food was good, the whole place had a very bare feel.  The new management have tried to address this, with curtains hung over doorways, a grey decor throughout, a cosy fire blazing away on one side of the room and a couch, coffe table and a couple of arm-chairs beside the fire.  It needs a little more colour, in my opinion, the grey is a bit bland, but it does feel less cathedral-like.

The starters arrived quickly, along with a small basket of bread.  The Tartare de Chèvre was basically a wodge of goats cheese, nicely presented on a bed of salad, garnished with a couple of pieces of crispy pancetta.

Tartare de Chèvre

The Salade of Crudites was a fairly similar salad, with a few hard-boiled eggs and some grated carrot added.  Both came with a nice, light dressing, and both were excellent.  The endive (chicory) arranged around the outside of the plates was particularly nice – it’s in season at the moment and had none of the bitterness it can have when it starts to get old.

Salade de Crudites

My Rôti de Porcelet (roast piglet!) came in a red wine sauce and was served with Tagliatelle.  I seem to be destined to eat pasta at our lunches!  In this case, there was less pasta on the plate than last week, which suited me fine but might not suit a big MAN appetite quite so well!  This was really tasty, possibly a little on the salty side, but that’s a personal taste thing, I suppose.

Rôti de Porcelet

The Lapin Provençal (Provençal style Rabbit) was a bit lighter than my main course and came with jumbo potato wedges.  This was also delicious, in fact it was possibly a little more delicious than the Porcelet.
Hmm, I think the LSH chose the better starter AND main course!

Lapin Provençale

Finally, dessert.  The LSH ordered Tuile à Lavande, served with ice-cream.  The Tuile is the biscuity thing.  It was beautifully presented, we both agreed it looked like a sail-boat with its spinnaker up, cruising along!  It tasted as good as it looked, too, and the ice-cream was yummy too – a nice grown-up kind of flavour (but neither of us can remember what it actually was, oops).

Tuiles à Lavande

I went for a light dessert (I’m still trying to shake off a few more kgs) of Faisselle with honey.  Faisselle is a fresh cheese – I think it’s best described as being half-way between yoghurt and cream cheese, it’s really light to eat, with a yoghurty tang to it.  They were very different desserts, both were excellent, but I think I preferred mine, it was just a bit lighter.

Faisselle & Coffee

Two coffees and a glass of white wine each brought the total bill up to €40.  I have to say that the Menu du Midi is excellent value.  Although we didn’t get as much food as we did at the Buffet de la Gare, what we were served was much better quality – top class food at a bargain price, if you stick to the set meal.

Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮✮✮
Value : ✮✮✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮ Unfortunately with only one other table occupied, it felt a little bare.  It must be lovely in the summer, though, there is a very large terrace with plenty of shade where one can relax out of the sun.
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