Le Relais des Moines, Les Arcs-sur-Argens 3

September 28, 2009

We had really enjoyed a lunch at Le Relais des Moines over two years ago and were delighted with the opportunity to stop for lunch on September 16, 2009 on our way home from our excellent meal at La Fenière in Lourmarin. We were pleased to see that there were quite a few people already there. More came later so it seems that the word is out about how good this place is even if the Michelin guide hasn’t acknowledged it yet with a deserved star.

Shortly after we were seated a little plate of hors d’oeuvres arrived.
There was a spoon of purée of coco beans, a little glass of vichysoisse and a little quiche en croûte. They put us in a good mood to look at the menu and the wine list. There were several fixed menus and an à la carte selection. We chose the 55€ Menu Inspiration du Moment.

We ordered a bottle of the 2006 Clos de Madame from nearby Château Rasque.

This blend of Grenache and Syrah has the characteristics one looks for in a Provençale wine.

The Menu started:
Prélude gourmand

The velouté de girolles was delicious, bringing out out the flavor of the mushrooms.

Ris de Veau en escalopines snacké,
spaghettinis frais aux truffes de la Saint-Jean

This was superb. Snacké is a new French word meaning seared with no butter or oil in a non-adhesive pan or on a plaque. It brought out the best in the sweetbreads. The fresh pasta ribbons dressed with summer truffles in butter were the perfect non-assertive, but elegant, base. Their softness was just right with the crispness of the sweetbreads. The truffles, which I think were local, had good flavor for summer truffles. 

Filet de bœuf rôti,
ravioles de champignons copeaux et émulsion,
jus de bœuf et riquette

The filet of beef was flavorful, tender and cooked just right. The mushrooms in slices and in raviolis were a classic match. The little cast iron pot of chard ribs in broth was unexpected and not really right; something crisp like a frisée salad might have been better. Anyway it was a good course.

La Palette de Douceurs du Moment

On four little plates we were served a grape ice cream, a soft chocolate biscuit, pear chunks poached in red wine and a strawberry macaroon. Very nice.


There was a classic opéra, an elaborate almond sponge cake with a coffee and chocolate filling and icing; an equivalent in caramel and a raspberry juice.

Sébastian Sanjou, the chef, is only 26 years old. His mother and his fiancée run the dining room. He and two others in the kitchen managed to turn out very good lunches for about twenty five people with few delays. Bravo. I hope that he will get the recognition he deserves.


To see our blogpost on Le Relais des Moines from April 2007 click here.


The restaurant’s website:


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