Charles Séméria opened Restaurant L’eSCentiel three years ago across from the city hall in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. He had worked in the kitchens of many of the grand hotels on the Côte d’Azur for thirty years and wanted to have his own not-so-grand place in his home town. Linda and I went for dinner on October 2, 2015.

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In December, 2014, Joël Robuchon, who has many restaurants around the world, and many Michelin stars, opened this restaurant in La Grande Maison, a small, upscale new hotel in a somewhat run-down neighborhood about ten minutes outside of central Bordeaux. As resident chef, he brought in Tomonori Danzaki, who had helped him open restaurants before in Tokyo, Las Vegas and Singapore. Linda and I went for dinner at La Grande Maison on September 16, 2015.

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Le Chapon Fin, Bordeaux

October 20, 2015

Le Chapon Fin was founded in 1825. Toulouse-Lautrec and Sarah Bernhardt were regulars. It was one of the first restaurants to be awarded three stars by Michelin (in 1933).  Martine, Linda and I went for dinner on September 15, 2015.

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On September 13, 2015, Martine drove Linda and me from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion. Our first stop was Château Villemaurine, a Grand Cru Classé at the edge of the town of Saint-Émilion.

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La Tupina, Bordeaux

October 6, 2015

La Tupina is a traditional 45-year-old restaurant in an old part of Bordeaux. In the Basque language, tupina means cauldron. Martine and Michael joined Linda and me there for dinner on September 13, 2015.

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La Villa Madie, Cassis

July 14, 2015

La Villa Madie was founded in 2007 by Jean-Marc Banzo, who already had two Michelin stars at Le Clos de la Violette in Aix-en-Provence. In 2013, having moved Le Clos into a hotel, he turned the kitchen of La Villa Madie over to Dimitri Droisneau and his wife, Marielle. They had met in the kitchen of La Réserve de Beaulieu, where they both worked, he for seven years. In 2014 the Droisneau took over ownership of La Villa Madie and it earned a second Michelin star. Dimitri Droisneau says: “I feel good in this house. My cuisine is more positive, liberated and even unleashed. My plates have less need for complexity and concentrate on the essential.” That sounds good to me. Linda and I went to La Villa Madie for dinner on June 3, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

The fishing village of Cassis inspired many painters in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. Derain: “Une pinède à Cassis-1907”, Vlaminck, Matisse, Dufy and Signac: “Baie de Cassis, Cap Canaille-1889” were among the most famous. The Cap Canaille headland, which dominates the view to the east, was their favorite subject. On the corniche to the west of the village is the hotel Les Roches Blanches. Linda and I spent the night of June 3, 2015.

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