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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Aix-ceptional: Bistrot des Philosophes.

What started out as a wet and woolly day ....and a hugely ambitious decision to drive to Aix en Provence, turned out to be .....

 ....a sunny surprise! With the added bonus of having come across this delightful bistro,tucked away from hustle and bustle of boutiques and mid morning market stalls on the Place des Cardeurs. 

There are several restaurants in this "place": one had the tell tale traumas that can only be inflicted by a fidgeting child strapped to a stroller bigger than the restaurant itself and the others though bigger than our "find" ,bore the tell tale tourist trap menus and uninspired waiters.

"The Bistrot des Philosophes" had us at the chequered table cloths we spied from the window, as well as the candle that beckoned us like a curled finger to tempt us with their divine menu.

The bistrot is open for lunch/brunch and offers a "Menu du jour" on week days only,on Saturday you are left to choose from the menu .

Let's talk decor: it is hugely appealing,quirky and whimsical. There are old turntables , typewriters, little retro knickknacks that create an atmosphere of a private club come wine bar. The huge blackboard and industrial hanging lamps lend an air of dishevelled chic with an emphasis on retro....I loved it. Good clean fun and the promise of a hearty menu,who could ask for more.

 The menu is pretty beef orientated and so we decided to share a "Cote de Boeuf"...hmmm and what a sight it was when it was brought to the table on a wooden cutting board. It is served with individual portions of salad: fresh peppery rocket leaves, slices of tomatoes , shavings of carrot and  Parmesan cheese.....

..... as well as little glass jars of the most delicious "pommes de terres rissolees" garlicked up to this side of scrumptious. The presentation was only half as good as the food: that was a wholehearted winters day delight. And if that wasn't enough to sate us, we went down the cheese path and let me tell you.....

"Camembert au calvados et pommes caramelizees au four"...oven baked Camembert with calvados and caramelised apples served on a slate slab with more rocket salad, a  thick raspberry vinegar  and toasted baguette wedges...seriously more-ish... the taste will remain with you days later...and not as in a nasty case of indigestion.

....see the apple? I wanted to make sure you got the whole experience along with me! Any dessert couldn't stand a chance next to this mouthwatering dish. If you love gooey,warm Camembert spread on hot crunchy wedges of baguette..then this is for you...because when you hit the sweet apples like a jam in the middle...your taste buds are going to explode.

87€ for two which includes 4 glasses of wine...(Yes I know,we should have taken a bottle) half a bottle of mineral water, the beef and the Camembert and the smile on our faces?... Was their gift to us.

Bistrot des Philosophes
20,Place des Cardeurs
+33(0)4 42 21 64 35