La Petite Maison
It’s not exactly San Francisco, but Cucuron is also famous for a house – but this house is yellow. The one in question belongs to the generous Eric Sapet, the uncontested master of hare à la royale, who has been delighting guests ever since 2007 with two magnificent menus. The day we went for lunch, in the rustic but never cheesy dining room (tomette tile floors, white tablecloths, priory chairs), it was raining marvelous delights on the “grand” menu: a fresh pea royale velouté with horseradish, organic salmon tartare and roe; classic stuffed vegetables, prepared the way mama Sapet would (yellow zucchini and its blossom, button mushrooms, tomatoes…) over a silky eggplant purée; a generous cut of suckling veal with blonde and brown morel mushrooms in a cream sauce with vin jaune, plus the last white asparagus of the season; a spring salad tossed with olive oil and a goat cheese from Banon; then a delicate dessert of natural woodland strawberries with a light and none-too-sweet whipped cream, a hibiscus jus and a warm pecan cookie. To drink, there was a lively and lemony Mâcon-Solutré from Noël Girard (€10 a glass) or a spicy Luberon, La Dorgonne (€40). Menus €60-90. // M.F.