I have just discovered a new and very good restaurant in Salon-de-Provence during a recent trip to visit my mother.....and I am very pleased as, over the years, I often had to drive out of town to eat at my favorite places. Le Salon des Gourmets has opened fairly recently (18months ago I believe) in the City centre and has replaced what used to be a simple Pizzeria. And what adifference! Despite the last review which was very negative we decided to give it a try and we had one of the best lunches I have had in a long time, especially in Provence where restaurants are often over-priced and disappointing.
The interior decoration is sober; the service very friendly and efficient. It is not a cheap option for a quick lunch as the first menu starts at 31euro upwards but for the quality of the food and the welcome we received I would gladly pay this price all over again, and more. I cannot comment on the wine list as we did not have any but I certainly was impressed with the food. My fish soup was excellent and better than any I have tasted in my hometown of Marseilles in a long time. The assortment of three homemade terrines my mother chose as a starter was also apparently very good. As a main course she had some Pied Paquets ( another speciality from Marseilles made with tripe, an acquired taste I admit) served with tagliatelle. As for my Gambas cooked in Pastis served on a bed of parmesan risotto, well I thought this was one of the best risotto I ever had; I am very partial to Parmesan and it definitely was the real thing. The desserts did not disappoint either: an apple pie beautifully presented and a praliné millefeuille light and crunchy which would not be out of place in a top patisserie. And they were definitely homemade which is more than can be said for a lot of restaurants these days. The only thing I would say is that there were only two options to choose from on the 31euro menu and if you did not like seafood or offal you would have had to go for the menu. Having said that a main dish and a dessert would probably have been sufficient and still reasonably priced.
Adding to this complimentary 'mise en bouches' to start the meal and 'mignardises' (petit fours) with coffee, lovely warm bread rolls, attention to detail in the presentation and decent size portions for food of this quality and you have two very happy customers. And the very talented young chef even took the trouble to come and see us at the end of the meal to ask if everything went well. I am going back to France soon and I know what one of my first visits will be!
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