We arrived in Vaison-la-Romaine late yesterday after riding from Avignon. It was a long day on the bikes, close to 75 kilometres. We were keen to arrive here to visit with some Winnipeg friends, so we happily road a few extra kilometres. (Perhaps, I wasn’t entirely happy! It was a long, sometimes hilly slog.)
We have found throughout our trip that it is difficult to find an open restaurant on a Sunday or Monday night. We see this is small and larger towns or cities. It is quite a contrast from North American, were a meal can be found at all times of day or night. (In France, it is next to impossible to find a restaurant to eat in mid-afternoon. The kitchens are fully closed after lunch until dinner service, which usually starts at 7:30.)
Last night, (Monday), we wandered around Vaison-la-Romaine trying to find something open that interested us. I must confess that I am getting a bit tired of French cooking. I’m not expecting any great sympathy on this, but it is the truth.
If one doesn’t want to eat French, there are few other choices. We have noticed a smattering of sushi restaurants. There might be a Chinese restaurant, but they are not often busy. There are, of course, a lot of pizzerias and Italian restaurants.
We were delighted and surprised to find a Moroccan restaurant in Vaison-la-Romaine.
Le Thé à la Menthe is run by a husband and wife. The husband entertained the guests and the wife worked in the kitchen! The restaurant was richly decorated, which was enough to entice us through the door. The decor made me think of something Van Gogh would have wanted to paint with its rich colours and textures.
We ordered “Chef’s Surprise” which left me a little nervous, because I am not a fully adventurous eater, but it was wonderful. Chicken tajine with couscous was the main course. It is available sweet or salty. Sweet, with plump stewed prunes and raisins was our choice. Dessert was simple but flavourful – cubes of melon, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon with honey and toasted pistachios. A glass of tea with fresh mint (and honey, I think) finished the meal.
A beautiful change from French!
The best part is the owner has a new kitten!