We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!

“WOW !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lou Cigalon

Lou Cigalon
Ranked #1 of 84 Restaurants in Valbonne
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $47 - $113
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
French Riviera
Level Contributor
78 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“WOW !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

I am unable to find a suitable title summarizing last nights’ dining experience at Lou Cigalon which is located in an old 3 story house in the center of Valbonne.
Walking in the front door we immediately stopped as it seemed we were walking into the kitchen. No, it is the entrance to the restaurant where you walk by the Chef Chambaud
working under his shiny copper pans hanging from the ceiling.
He is alone in his kitchen and his wife accompanies the guests to their table. The small dining room is decorated in a fashionable modern Provence style with dim lights, small stone pavement and modern wall paintings giving a very romantic feel. There are only 6 tables which could accommodate up to 20 guests You are in Mrs Chambauds’ dining room and she will take care of you as if you were family.
One should take “guest” literally. Mr & Mrs Chambaud indicated that they chose to limit their number of guests to 10 or 4 tables and have no employees. Beyond that the Chef no longer enjoys cooking. This little secret was shared when I commented on the people without reservations being turned away while 2 of the 6 set tables remained unoccupied.
The restaurant offers only 3 menus (and the “a la carte” is a pick from these menus). The daily menu is posted on a blackboard and updated after the Chef returns from the market, the other two are changed on average every 2 months.
The food … even the word “food” seems inappropriate. Mr Chambaud in his fifties has accumulated a lot of experience before taking over this restaurant and because he enjoys
cooking he is closed 2 days a week while he teaches cooking to youngsters in a neighbouring town school.
Defining his cooking would certainly lead to “gastronomic” but not in the common sense.
It seems as though he starts off choosing a base component and builds up the dish with a number of ingredients such as crystal ginger, candied slice of garlic (looks like an almond), a flavoured herb grown in the Burgundy region, a run of 4 spices on the edge of the plate, … Each mouthful has a different taste according to what you have picked up with your fork.
A festival of taste for the palate.
In summary a meal at Lou Cigalon is like taking a tour in the vast world of cooking. For gourmets only ! And reservations a must.
PS. Mrs Chambaud has only basic knowledge of English but the Menu is in French & English so you will only miss out on the translation of some of the ingredients.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank jr_hummel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

245 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    207
    29
    3
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Enjoyable lunch by all”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Classic French cooking with style. Child of 8 years was given menu tailored for him while keeping all our courses (plus extra homemade marshmellows!!) . Gluten free needs met while keeping in the style and fashion of our multi-course meal. A definite must and on top of it with a charming hostess.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank BChupka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
143 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Most pleasant dinning experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

We went there as a family with 5 children for lunch and were most pleasantly surprised by its high level of quality and service. We had the set lunch and each dish were most delicious. Madame was most attentive and the chef even took some time to have a little chat with us. We would love to return again , perhaps without the children as we can imagine it to be avery nice evening venue and even during the winter times, the ambiance was most cosy.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Sing2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
204 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Fine Dining in the French Style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

This restaurant provides the old French atmosphere, the fine attention to details in the cuisine, and the earnest service of the chef's wife who really seems to want the diners to feel as though they are guests in her home. Each dish was perfect. The service was impeccable. Overall, i felt as though the quality of the restaurant really was superior to the quality of the tourists eating there. If you are seeking an authentic old-world Michelin quality meal, this is the place for you.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TheReids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valbonne, France
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“New and keen!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

This man and wife team have rejuvenated Lou Cigalon, which used to have a Michelin star and they deserve to get a star again based on the service, food and value we have received the last two times we have visited. Fabulous effort, outstanding cuisine and a very warm welcome. Madame speaks excellent English and Monsieur is the jovial occupant of the open kitchen (we liked this) in a small and intimate restaurant at the top of the village which is fortunately air conditioned. Go!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank TheMaxFactor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Lou Cigalon also viewed

Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
 
Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
 
Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
Valbonne, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
 

Been to Lou Cigalon? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing