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“An expensive disappointment” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Christian Etienne

Christian Etienne
10 rue de Mons | 10 Rue de Mons, 84000 Avignon, France
+33 0. 490 861 650
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Ranked #5 of 405 Restaurants in Avignon
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“An expensive disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Christian Etienne presents himself as the doyen of Provencal chefs, and our dinner at his restaurant was supposed to be the high point of our short break in Avignon. Alas, it wasn't.

When we spend this kind of money [100 euros per person], we expect, at least, consistent pleasure occasionally interrupted by ecstasy. The ecstasy was there -- the fish couse I had with the autumn set meal was stupendous and my wife was delighted with her orange-y dessert -- but too infrequent for my liking. And the consistency was not there at all. The signature dish my menu sounded fascinated: pig's trotter stuffed with marinated artichokes -- but it was utterly bland, as was the foie gras starter on the other menu. Other dishes were interesting in concept, but the result was never thrilling. The wine was as expensive as one would expect, but equally without character.

Worst of all was the service -- when I find myself reaching for the bread basket between courses of a five-course meal, I think the service is too slow. When my water and wine glasses are being ostentatiously refilled every time I take a sip, but my food is not arriving, I suspect that something is wrong in the kitchen. When the chef spends more time gladhanding the customers than he does in the kitchen -- and there is something wrong in the kitchen -- I conclude that he now thinks of himself more as a celebrity than as a craftsman.

A pity.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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320 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Very good but no wow”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Nice decor, old historic building. Friendly and professional staff. My wife and I had the "Menu du Palais", a 5-course degustation menu. Good vintage Champagne served as aperitif. The first course, a foie gras poelé with a parsley cream, was really heavy and not tasty at all. We left our plates almost full. The waiter tried to offer us a replacement, but we politely declined and waited for the next dish. The second dish, sea bass with a bean sauce, was the best. It was really world class. The third dish, a waygu chuck steak, was rich and tasty, but the accompaniment, a kind of celeri pure, lacked aroma. The cheese selection was excellent. The two desserts, one with fruits and basil ice cream, the other a subtle combination of crunchy and creamy chocolate, were both extremely elegant and delicious. The selection of wines (by the glass) to go with these dishes was very good. Overall parts of this dinner were a little rustic and lacked real finesse, especially the meat dish. My feeling is that we had a dinner not really matching our expectation, and also not really worthy of a 1-star in the Michelin guide.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“The Christian Etienne Experience is Superb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

From the reservation process to the final course, the experience at Christian Etienne is superb.
The website allows you to make reservations (in French or English) and all requests are promptly replied to.

The restaurant nestled against the Palais des Papes and overlooking the square in front of the palais, is beautiful, both inside and out.

We were graciously greeted and seated in the open-air terrace and then the marvelous experience began.

We both choose the Tomato Menu which is a 7-course taste treat featuring all things tomato and also proteins that pair nicely with tomato.

After several pre-course appetizers, we were served an excellent tomato aspic in a glass jar.
Next a tomato, shallot and olive oil tartar that really showcased the fresh flavors of the region.
Also included in the tasting menu were: A strikingly beautiful plate of mozzarella with crushed vine tomatoes and snails; tender lamb Provencal-style; and goat cheese paired with candied Roma tomatoes.

The lunch ended with coffee and several desserts.

Chef Etienne greeted us during our meal and we found the staff to be professional and courteous.

The experience was very, very good. If you have a chance to dine here, you should.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Phoenix,AZ
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“A True Dining Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

This restaurant, with a prime location next door to the Palace of the Popes, provided one of our most memorable meals on a recent trip to Paris and Provence. We both opted for the Menu du Palais. Over the course of 2 1/2 unhurried hours, we were served (roughly translated)
terrine of duck liver with absinthe and espelette pepper, zucchini and marjoram; filet of John Dory with sage, spring onions and roasted pine nuts; Duck three ways with caviar and fried eggplant with a lemon emulsion; a "chariot" of cheeses; two desserts and multiple amuse bouches. Each course was delicious and beautifully presented. The chef and his staff were
warm and attentive. A truly wonderful dining experience.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is a totally excellent restaurant. We hit Paris (twice), the Rivira, and Provence on our recent honeymoon and we had planned to have this place as our one big splurge and it did not disappoint. It's very expensive so not for everybody but if you are willing to drop a large amount on an upscale dining experience then you will not be disappointed. Was our best meal in France. Of 8 courses most were excellent. And the cheese cart is totally off the hook,probably 16 or so cheeses. I haven't tried every restaurant in Avignon but I'm confident this is the best restaurant in that city.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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