Restaurant Songes (Saint-Rémy-de-Provence)

© Maki Manoukian

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A midsummer night’s dream (the mercury hit 38°C that evening!), somewhat refreshed by the invigorating compositions by Pauline Séné, a former contestant on France’s “Top Chef” 2021 and ex-chef at Fripon in Paris, who’s in residence at the Hôtel de Sade throughout the summer, bringing joy to its huge terrace criss-crossed with string lights. Surrounded by old stone walls – some dating from the 4th century, we tucked into: a delicate melon and green curry gazpacho concealing chunks of grilled watermelon, all drizzled in green oil; sea bream carpaccio all cozy in cherry tomato water, with cucumber rounds, pickled cherry and dill oil; hanger steak tataki with a punchy BBQ sauce with figs and black garlic, flanked by an impeccable potato pressé (grilled on the outside, tender on the inside) and fig wedges; before a hearty roasted apricot with honey and rosemary, accompanied by a mini-financier and an airy cardamom crème diplomate. Watch out, as things certainly heat up in the height of summer, especially since the terrace seats 120 covers! // Gwen Jacques

FEELING THIRSTY? The cocktail shaker’s in action with a Provençal Balthazar (white wine, tomato water, pisco and olive oil, €14), plus a local IPA from the Brasserie du Castellet (€9 a pint) and around 15 warmly priced wines, like the Prélude rosé from the Domaine Saint Firmin in Uzès (€8 a glass) or the local red Cornaline from Dominique Hauvette (€73 a bottle).
PRICE: À la carte €48-68, kids’ main €12.

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