Located in French Riviera to the east of Marseille is the internationally famous seaside resort of Saint-Tropez. It was where the bombshell Brigitte Bardot was discovered and sightings of celebrities are common in this town. It was initially renowned as the hot seat of the French new wave in cinema and the ye-ye movement in music. It then became a tourist hotspot where tourists, specifically the American and European jet set crowd, would congregate. It has since become known as a playground for the rich and famous millionaires and celebrities.
And with the onslaught of tourists comes the demand for fine food and dishes. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive restaurants in Saint-Tropez.
1. Residence de la Pinede
This is an expensive restaurant bannered by two-star Michelin chef Arnaud Donckele. The restaurant is located in a manor located by the sea. While the food’s starting point is still Provence, influences from Asia and the Middle East can easily be gleamed in its dishes. The restaurant has Vietnamese-style chicken ravioli and savory lamb. Meals may be served either indoors or on the outdoor terrace underneath the pines. The service is smart, friendly and attentive. It has an elegant ambiance that is perfect for romantic meals. Lunch and dinner are served, though always get a reservation because the place can get full, the prices notwithstanding.
2. Chateau de la Messardiere
This restaurant is located on top of a small hill a few minutes away from the center of the town and the beach. Its meals have French fusion, Mediterranean and modern influences. Lunch consists of burgers, grilled sandwiches, pasta, grilled fish and meat. Take note, however, that while the meals may be simple, the prices are definitely not. Dinner meals are far more sophisticated. Its specialty is the tournedos with a foie gras emulsion. You can also try the red mullet fillets. It comes with potatoes served with light garlic mayonnaise and caviar. A relatively new chef named Christian Farenasso does the cooking.
3. Spoon at Byblos Hotel
Spoon is the second restaurant in Byblos Hotel and the enclave of the famous French chef named Alain Ducasse. And because it is Ducasse, expect the dining concepts to be daring. There are a variety of items in the menu, ranging from French and Italian to Lebanese and North African. Vincent Maillard is Ducasse’s man in this restaurant. Specialties include the sea bass, chicken tajine with olives and lemons, tuna a la planche and the sea bream with lemon and fennel. Vegetables and cereals complete the dishes, with sauces to further enhance the taste. If you are bold enough, try the Spoon Experience Menu. This means that the chef will choose the dish for you. You can then wash it all down with the restaurant’s massive wine list with selections from all over the globe. As an extra treat, celebrities are often spotted in this place.
4. Brasserie des Arts
Known as the B-des-A, this hip restaurant is located right in the center of Saint-Tropez. It serves French, Mediterranean and modern cuisines. Try out their sea bream topped with olives, nuts and basil. The restaurant’s chicken supreme is also recommended. It welcomes everyone in, even during nights when there are plenty of celebrities dining in the place. Try to make a reservation, though, as it may get full. Brasserie des Arts is a restaurant for people watching and if you want to be seen.
5. Le Sporting
The price is in the middle range and the ambiance here is informal and friendly. It specializes in French and Italian dishes, but pastas are the restaurant’s go-to meal. Try the lasagna and the spaghetti with squid and escalope Milanese. Le Sporting also has daily specials. The servings here are generous and presented without much frills or decorations. The restaurant is low-key but definitely ranks high in the best value for money department.
6. Auberge des Maures
For traditional Provencal fare, then head out to the Auberge des Maures at the Rue Dr Boutin. It has a relaxed ambiance but definitely with a sense of style. Celebrities like Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, David Niven and Pablo Picasso used to frequent the place. If you come in during the summer, try the barbeque dishes made of herby fish and other meats. Otherwise, go for the classics, like the bass bream, hare chasseur, lamb meals or daube beef stewed in wine.
7. Au Caprice des Deux
The restaurant is not exactly on the town’s known hotspots as it is located in an old house in the village right in the middle of a narrow pedestrian street. It offers a chic and cozy atmosphere and features the creative meals as done by the chef named Stephane Avelin. Some of the meals you may encounter are the lamb chops in thyme, foie gras, Spanish pata negra ham, spicy beef salad and snail gratin with garlic butter. As much as these are recommended, the menu changes often depending on the season.
8. Chez Les Garcons
This is a cozy restaurant that provides a good ambiance and interesting food. It is actually located in the part of town that is not engulfed with tourists. For a restaurant located in a seaside town, however, the menu is remarkably scarce of fish choices. Try the pork tenderloin stewed in honey and ginger or the duck stuffed with mushrooms.
9. Bistro Canaille
This is a trendy restaurant with original dishes and outstanding wine selections. The appetizer with truffles and vegetables may already be a meal in itself. You can also try the filet de Boufe en Croute, though take note that the menu changes almost daily depending on what is fresh for the day. The atmosphere is fun with the chef turning into a DJ as the night rolls along.
10. L’ Aventure
For fresh and perfectly seasoned dishes, try L’ Aventure. It has a helpful staff that can translate the menu items for you. Try the snails or the fish with flavorful couscous. The restaurant is genuinely Saint-Tropez with home-cooked style food.
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