Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Walking through the stone village of St Maximin, we wondered if we were at the right place. A Sunday noon, the middle of winter and a rainy day, which is rare in the Gard region, there was not a soul in sight. The sign above the restaurant read Café de le Mairie, but we had reserved at La Table de Julien? As we walked in to the café, we were directed down a flight of stairs to a vaulted, candle lit dining room. Welcome to La Table de Julien!
Jennifer Henriksen, co-owner and wife of Chef Julien Lavandet, greeted us with a smiling, down to earth attitude that immediately put us at ease. The small, elegant dining room was filled with people from England, Belgium and France, all there for the same reason...the incredible food. This was our first time dining there, since we were never able to get a reservation last minute, and now we know why. The food was out of this world! Scallop carpaccio seasoned with lime and peppercorns, pan seared fois gras with a caramelized pear, homemade brioche spread with wild mushrooms topped with a perfectly poached egg, juicy beef tenderloin with a rich cocoa sauce, vegetable stuffed rouget topped with langoustine froth (pictured), and delicious desserts. A perfectly balanced Gigondas to sip throughout the meal and we were in heaven!
We reserved at this tucked away restaurant not knowing what to expect and left knowing we now have a new favorite restaurant. La Table de Julien is by far St. Maximin's best kept secret!
La Table de Julien
30700 St Maximin