In early spring, after my husband received his yearly bonus, we took an afternoon off for a leisurely lunch. We went to Chez Bruno, a restaurant in Lorgues in the department Var that specializes in truffles. We'd heard about it from friends over the years and decided to go see for ourselves.
We set off late one morning in early May - not-too-cold, not-too-hot spring weather, egg-y yellow light (not the white summer haze, yet) and a happiness of being together, quietly, in the car. No kids in sight.
On arrival, we turned of the highway road headed to Lorgues into a vineyard surrounded drive. We headed up a small hill and turned into sculpture-decorated gardens - a must for any respectable country restaurant gastronomique. It reminded me of a less-elegant version of Alain Ducasse's Bastide de Moustiers and sure enough there they were lining the hallway staircase to the restrooms: Black and white photos of an afternoon meal with Ducasse and Chef Bruno and team.
I watched the Luxe.tv-produced profile on his site and found that it explained a lot. M. Bruno says that he wanted his restaurant to be a place that anyone could come - from heads of state and celebrities to regular people. He name drops but I believe his egalitarian approach is sincere. The place was his grandparents and the atmosphere is decidedly relaxed. The service is down to earth (a little too much so I thought) but much preferable to the grands restaurants on the Cote d'Azur. He goes on to explain that didn't choose truffles as a gimmick, but rather it is something that he grew up eating (he recounts an episode where his grandmother fixed him scrambled eggs with truffles. His egalitarian approach means no Michelin stars. The truffle theme didn't disappoint! If you ever wanted to learn more or taste a variety of dishes at once, here's a great choice.
Our entrée (1st dish): Fois gras, morels and truffles. Heaven on a plate.
After we finished we took a walk around the grounds and then to prolong the afternoon we visited the Abbeye de Thoronet (pictured above).