Top Table

Le Croque Chou, Verquieres, France
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The Independent Travel

Location: Le Croque Chou is a Michelin-starred restaurant in a good location for stopping off en route to Italy, in a village 15km south of Avignon and the A7 motorway. Le Croque Chou, Place de l'Eglise, Verquières, France (00 33 4 90 95 18 55).

Location: Le Croque Chou is a Michelin-starred restaurant in a good location for stopping off en route to Italy, in a village 15km south of Avignon and the A7 motorway. Le Croque Chou, Place de l'Eglise, Verquières, France (00 33 4 90 95 18 55).

Decor and ambience: The building, a centuries-old stone farmhouse with thick wooden beams, is beautiful. The decor is heavy on chintz and doilies, and the room silent as a tomb.

Clientele: Haughty locals in their best suits and frocks.

Menu: Specialities included galantine de gigot d'agneau aux senteurs de Provence, and filet mignon de lapin à l'infusion de sauge. "I didn't think rabbits had a filet mignon," mused my companion, a London chef.

Service: When booking, we were warned not to be late, nor early, and told that our credit cards and travellers' cheques were not welcome: this is a cash-only operation. The lady serving us was maître d', sommelier, waitress and bus-boy all in one. The chef-owner could have been a little less patronising.

Wine list: A short list of unremarkable local wines. Our 1997 Condrieu was too bland for €60 (£40).

Price: The restaurant offers menus at €30 (£20) and €34 (£22.50) a head; there were no à la carte options.



Oh yeah, and the food: Quelle horreur! The rabbit was insipid, its sage infusion looking and tasting like diluted Fairy Liquid. The dull lamb galantine attempted a brave, if ultimately unsuccessful, impersonation of a generic supermarket meat terrine. The worst was to come: the rum baba dessert, sickly and plasticky, would have been rejected by a school-dinner committee. A Michelin star? I'd rather have eaten a Michelin tyre.



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