Dueling Dining in Avignon: Part One, Christian Etienne

The dilemma: how to choose between two highly-touted restaurants just a few hundred paces apart and a Michelin star each…

Solution: dinner at one and lunch at the other!

Chef Christian Etienne, who built his reputation with stints at the Ritz and the Intercontinental in Paris, now runs his eponymous restaurant in a prized location adjacent to the Palais des Papes in his native Avignon.

We had a lovely table on the romantic terrace at restaurant Christian Etienne.

We’d heard the buzz about his popular summer “Tomate” menu and were happy to see it still available in mid-September. The best tomatoes we’ve ever tasted are in Provence, and best tomatoes we’ve tasted in Provence were at Christian Etienne.

Every item centered creatively around the tomato; the "black tomato" capuccino was especially clever.

Three different types of tomatoes in this salad, including a very flavorful one that I think was dubbed a "pineapple" tomato.

We chose a non-tomato dessert, but otherwise enjoyed every tomato-y bite.

The terrace setting was sophisticated, yet the service was homey and welcoming. Chef Etienne greeted all the diners personally and enthusiastically agreed to have his photo taken with us.

I think the tariff was 65 euros each for this little bit of culinary heaven. Well worth it, and I hope we someday have the chance to return for more.

One of our favorite discoveries about France is a sweet redundancy: they tend to serve dessert after dessert. We’re all for that!

I would have saved them for all of you if I could have...

Next up: lunch at Hotel La Mirande…

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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