La Chassagnette

La Chassagnette (Arles)

© Marc Fournié

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For over 10 years now, Armand Arnal has been stitching together dishes made with natural, locally sourced ingredients in this former sheepfold turned bohemian haven by India Mahdavi. Every day, the chef strolls through his beautiful 10-hectare organic kitchen garden that’s bursting with herbs, vegetables and flowers, seeking out inspiration. The other day at lunch on the ivy-covered terrace, the €105 tasting menu included: diced pickled cucumber and a chioggia beet brunoise in a silky beetroot gazpacho topped with a few borage flowers; grilled Atlantic mackerel and corn kernels aroused by a green zebra tomato and Mexican tarragon vinaigrette; eggplant prepared a variety of ways (eggplant caviar, roasted eggplant with white vinegar, and smoked eggplant purée) served with haricots verts and capers, making for a very balanced combination; perfectly prepared wolfish fillet with potato capellini and a thunderous jus made with tomatoes and fish offal; Gard pigeon supreme with savory roasted baby carrots and a rich jus; incredibly juicy white peach slivers with peppermint, agastache and a lovely almond espuma; before a delicious roasted fig wrapped in a fig leaf and baked in the oven, paired with a light goat’s milk ice cream. // G.LeP.

FEELING THIRSTY? Natural, mostly southern wines: a Var white from Jean-Christophe Comor (€7 a glass), a rosé from Henri Milan in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (€55 a bottle), Améthyste, an Alpilles red from the Domaine Hauvette (€135)… And a few foreign wines too, including a Slovenian Sauvignon from Cotar (€9.50 a glass).

PRICE: Menus €64 (4 courses, lunch) and €105 (7 courses).

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