There's no way you could miss this castle. Nestled on a little mountain top, just a few meters before entering the village of Chateauneuf du Pape, stands Chateau Les Fines Roches. You drive through long alleys of green trees which take you up to a yellow castle, built from sand stones where a hotel, winery and restaurant welcome you... This special spot located in Chateauneuf du Pape is an area known for its extensive wineries is something to see and experience...
Poets and artists from Provence came to this castle build in the middle of the vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape at the end of the XIXth century. Home to the Marquis Folco de Baroncelli, in a mix of medieval and Provencal fantasy benefiting from a warm weather and the special spirit brought by the exceptional view going from the popes palace in Avignon to the Luberon and far beyond. For lunch, the menu is listed on the many black chalkboards around the restaurant, prepared daily by the chef. As for the night's menu, it is more of gastronomic journey printed on a thick menu. We chose one of the two rooms inside, over viewing the wine valley, which has been producing wine for the last century. A round table, dimmed lighting and a decorated table were all what's needed to enjoy a pleasant meal.
Lunch started with baguette and brown bread slices accompanying sausages and ham, olives and capsicum sauce. I loved these! I could eat them all for lunch.
Luigi Barmioli wine glasses made it even better to taste their local 2008 unique red wine.
Today's suggested menu:
- Salade De 3 Tomates, Mozzarella
- Aiguillette De Canard A L'oranger
- Melon Du Pays, Jambon Cru
- Salade Cesar
- Brochette De Caines De Cailles
- Pave De Saumon, Creme De Poivre
- Araignee De Porc Grillee
- Gardianne De Taureau
- Faux Filet De Boeuf Beurre Maitre D'hotel
- Moelleux Au Chocolat
- Tarte Bourdaloue Aux Bigarreaux
- Nougat Glace
- Coupe De Glace Framboise Chocolat
- Creme Caramel
- Melon with thick raw slices of ham, served with lettuce salad: Delicious
- Chicken, cherry tomato, cheddar cheese and grilled chicken: no crouton and no garlic, mori (smoked dried ham) all in a one of a kind Cesar salad, signature of the restaurant
- Three kinds of tomato (three colors) with mozzarella buffalo and rockets seasoned with balsamic vinegar: A simple yet innovative plate I fell in love with
- Faux filet served with potato purée which has a lemony taste accompanied green sautéed vegetables all flavored with olive oil: The meat is not good at all. A total failure. Even though we had the plate recooked, it did not succeed, both times...
- Salmon filet is good
Looking at the wine menu, I noticed that the wine we ordered, a 2008 bottle is priced at 70€ while it's sister, the 2012 edition is priced at 10€ only. The taste difference justifies the price: Some years produce great wine, while others are just good. 70 % grenache, 15 % syrah, 8 % mourvèdre, 5 % cinsault, 2 % muscardin and counoise. A nice light balanced Chateauneuf-du-Pape with notes of red fruit spice. After lunch we decided to have the desserts outside on the terrace where we were offered some homemade brownie bites and chocolate chip cookies: they were just awesome. The extraordinary view from the restaurant terrace feels like a breeze from Toscana where the spirit of the place mix up with the dedication of a family style team proposing a cuisine of a world-class. The cookies had melting chocolate around the white crunchy dough and a salted caramel after taste. As for the mini brownies, each melted like a Lindt bonbon under my teeth. Even their Espresso was tasty.
Nougat, Tarte and Chocolat Fondant were all mouthwatering: Bravo!