After missing dinner at a fantastic restaurant in Gignac the night before due to a lovely bout of gastro over the Christmas period I was finally feeling hungry for a nice meal so we decided to make a short detour to Avignon on the way back to Italy. After buying some wines in a little wine shop just off the main street we asked the man working there if he had any recommendations for somewhere to have lunch and l'Essentiel was one of them and just around the corner. We had a look in, the place was buzzing, and were able to get a table without any problems. Dominique greeted us so nicely even though I still wasn't feeling well and was dressed quite casually as we were going to be driving all day. As we didn't have much time we just chose 1 dish each from the menu, sea bass fillet on a creamy parsnip mash and chicken breast supreme for my husband. We were told there would be a small wait and then out came an amuse bouche of Jerusalem artichoke soup with a dollop of egg whites. Absolutely suberb, I could have had a whole bowl of that! When the main course came out my husband's came first and I had to wait a little while but it was obvious that the staff were aware and they came and apologised. The meals were absolutely delicious, my husband was especially impressed as he usually never orders chicken in restaurants but it was so tender and juicy. The fish was cooked perfectly with crunchy skin and creamy mash. Perfect way to have fish in winter.
With a bottle of sparkling water and a glass of wine for my husband the bill came to €50. I also think that the set menus are great value, one was 30-something and the other 40-something euros.
Next time I'm in Avignon I would definitely go back and test out one of the set menus.