I’d been desperate to try the Auberge Des Seigneurs (Inn of the Lords) for years. It’s located down a quiet alley heading towards the old ramparts in Vence (Pictured) and is built of the same stone as the ancient walls. Despite efforts to try and find out about the Auberge’s history, I was unsuccessful – entries on the internet only talk about it being an ‘old inn (which it still is) and an even older postal relay station’.
I’d looked at its menu for quite a few years and decided that it was just too expensive. Now I don’t mind ‘expensive’ if it’s had a raving recommendation, but it hadn’t – nobody I knew had ever been there and paying what would probably be near €100 a head for a trial meal, just wasn’t something I was prepared to do.
But, I’d been to my mates house which is just past the Seigneurs a couple of weeks ago and noticed that they had introduced a lunch ‘Menu’ which, on the face of it, looked really good value at €22 for two courses, or €27 for three and given that a starter can run to €20 with mains at the same price, it was just too good an offer to turn down.
So J and I met a couple of friends (Robin and Jennifer) there on Tuesday lunchtime. The starters included a plate of different types of foie gras (€2.50 extra) or fish and crevette ravioli or courgette flowers, whilst the mains included pigeon and roast veal chop.
Before the starters were delivered an amuse bouche of crab and prawn compote was produced and at the end of the meal, the waitress brought each lady a nice rose. Nice little touches.
The food however was ‘just ok’. J reckoned that apart from the veal chop and maybe the pigeon, the food had been pre-prepared and had been ‘plated up’ by the waitress. Whatever – at the end of the day it’s not a bad deal when you pay €24.50 for a largeish plate of foie gras and then roasted pigeon. The wine however was the thing which knocked the bill up - they don’t do carafes and so ordering by the bottle put a dent in the bill.
Would I go again? Probably, but I wouldn’t have the pigeon – Robin’s roasted veal chop looked a much better bet.
Today is a complete contrast. Down to the small restaurant beside the river where my two course lunch will cost a princely €9.50 and the wine will come in half-litre carafes at €5 a jug!