One of the great pleasures of travelling in France is exploring its restaurants and wines – so many to try – so little time. Our area is blessed with two rural Michelin-starred restaurants as well as wonderful family-run ones. But first, the wines.
There are so many wines you’ve never heard of (just look through the Guide Hachette in the book department when you are shopping in the supermarket one day!). Languedoc has, in recent years, become more interesting to wine lovers and is making some really noteworthy estate-bottled wines. Many producers offer tastings – often English is spoken. You can find a good review of several wineries of the area here. Our favourite winery to visit is the Domaine Saint-George d’Ibry. We also like the Domaine de Nizas, and of course you should try out the wines from Les Vignerons d’Alignon du Vent – Neffiès en Côtes de Thongue – the cave cooperative that you see on your left as you are coming into Neffiès from the South.
And now – the restaurants. On January 21, 2019, Michelin awarded a star to two restaurants within 15 minutes of Neffies.
This wonderful restaurant in the tiny village of Vailhan about 8km west of Neffiès, changed hands in 2018. The new chef Amélie Darvas has made a real splash as can be seen by this highly favourable article in Le Figaro. another for the Occitanie television station, and yet another in Le Monde. And now they have their Michelin star. They offer tasting menus that change daily. Open from Thursday to Monday, reservations are essential well in advance. Check out their Facebook Page for recent updates.
Take the scenic route from Neffiès – north on D15, then turn left on the narrow road to Vailhan. The restaurant has a beautiful setting overlooking the barrage des Olivettes.
On the road from Pezenas to Nizas, this restaurant is run by Mathieu De Lauzun, a Michelin-star chef with experience in Morocco, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. He opened the Restaurant de Lauzun in the summer of 2018, and it received its first star in January 2019. We have not eaten here yet, and would be happy to hear the experience of our guests.
This restaurant, about 100m from Libellule, is terrific. Inventive cooking, a changing set of daily specials, friendly service – what more can we say. Actually, others have said a lot. Click on the link for the Trip Advisor reviews of this restaurant – and you will see that we are not alone in thinking that it is one of the best restaurants that we have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Open for every evening from Tuesday to Saturday, and for lunch on Tuesday to Friday as well as Sunday. Note that you definitely need reservations, preferably a week or two ahead for the weekends. Phone: +33 (0) 4 67 24 07 86 for reservations.
On the main square of Neffiès, and very much a gathering place for the locals, L’Escampette is a great place for a hearty inexpensive lunch or dinner.
The nicest restaurant in Roujan. Ask for a table on the terrasse if the weather is good, as it is a lovely setting.
A little further, in Valros, you will find L’Asperagus, another great restaurant. Again, eating outside on their terrace is very pleasant.
One of the top restaurants in Pézenas. The cook is a disciple of Escoffier – so expect wonderful creamy sauces.
Another great restaurant in Pézenas.
Ken and Alison are an American couple. Ken is a gourmet chef. They run wonderful multi-course dinners once or twice a month in the summer held in various local vineyards where, of course, you are offered a variety of wines from that vineyard. These dinners are very popular with the local English-speaking population – and must be booked in advance. You can check the schedule of their upcoming events here.
We will be checking out other restaurants in the future. In the meantime, you might want to look at the following review sites:
For lovers of blue cheese, a visit to the village of Roquefort and its caves is a pilgrimage of sorts. Depending on the season, you can see the cheese being made, and buy direct from the source.
Drive down to Bouziques, a fishing village on the Étang de Thau, and order oysters or mussels straight from the étang in one of the many restaurants.
There is a Super U supermarket in Roujan – about 5 minutes away. And if the kids are desperate, there’s also a McDonald’s in Pézenas and pizza places in Roujan. Two pizza vendors now serve pizza, cooked in a wood-burning oven, in Neffiès two or three evenings a week. Listen to the public announcements and you will hear when and where the pizza vendors will be in town.
Other Food Links
Les Fées Confiot’ makes jams and syrups in Neffiès, and have an outlet just beside the village church which is open in the mornings and on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that this outlet will close by the end of 2018.
You can purchase the Mas Rolland goat cheese from the the farm which isn’t too far away (or from Les Fées Confiot’). Also, in Neffiès, at 1 chemin des Loubières, the Ferme de Cabridoule is a goat cheese producer.