...La Tomate Verte (Aix en Provence, France)

Overall - 8/10
Food - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance 8/10

A year ago, we were lucky enough to have spent a month in France.  This summer we won't be travelling so we thought we would post on a few of our memorable experiences from our trip as a way to reminisce.  We hope you find these posts helpful if you plan on stopping by a few of the same locations or at the very least, enjoyable to read. 

When you're in Provence you can just tell. For some people it's the sunshine, for others it's the smells of lavender but for us it's the food. Our first meal here at La Tomate Verte in Aix en Provence couldn't have been a better welcome to the region. The flavours of lavender, rosemary and thyme permeated our meal while the generous use of the locally produced olive oil made for a wonderful first meal here in the south east of France.
Our first starter was a whole eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and dressed with herbs and copious amounts of olive oil. Although the dish seemed simple it was made from the freshest of produce from the market that day. The eggplant was first slowly roasted until tender, concentrating its flavours then the marinated tomatoes were stuffed into it creating a great contrast between fresh and cooked flavours. This dish was Provence on a plate.
Our next appetizer was called 'Caillette' which is essentially a warm pork terrine/meatball that was served over toasted bread and with sweet pickled onions. Another awesome combination!
For our mains we had a roasted duck breast with ratatouille (essentially a dish of sautéed eggplant, tomato, zuchinni, onion and garlic), and a slowly braised lamb shank in herbs de Provence served with olive oil mashed potatoes. The duck was cooked to medium rare and matched well with the earthy flavours of the ratatouille. The lamb shank was super tender and again went really well with the traditional flavours of thyme, rosemary and lavender.
Lamb Shank
Duck breast with Ratatouille
For dessert we had the rhum baba and the chef's interpretation of Callissons. For those of you who are not familiar with Callissons, they are a traditional Provençal sweet made from almond paste. Our dessert this night was made from this same almond delicacy but wrapped around a vanilla bean ice cream. The rhum baba was also quite good but could have used a bit more rum for our tastes.

After such a great meal, I'm sure the flavours of Provence will remain in our minds for a long time to come.


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