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Since it launched in November 2012 neo-bistro Garance has played to packed houses. The state-of-the-art contemporary bistro, on two levels, with open kitchen fascinatingly visible from the rue, has become an informal club for the hip and happening, attracting a diverse cross-section of punters incorporating foodie, wine business and love affairs.
On street level, wearing the whites, behind the kitchen counter, is Guillaume Iskander (ex-Passard,Septime, Passédet, Marseille.) Six coveted places overlook the action, décor’s a daring mix of green anthracite, wood, stainless steel, polished concrete.
The glass and steel wine cellar is a feature of the staircase leading to the first floor with white dressed tables and bar for wine tasting. They’re big on natural and organic wines here.
The other Guillaume (Muller) boss and former sommelier at Passard’s Arpege, works all the station with his team of jolie filles. Garance’s menu is short and market driven, accents on forgotten vegetables, seasonal products, natural and biodynamic wine pairings.
This week Guillaume & Guillaume invited Alexis Rousset-Rouard, a vigneron from the Luberon, to dine with a few close personals and taste RR’s Domaine de La Citadelle wines G & G are adding to their eclectic list.
The Domaine, originally set up by film producer and homme politique Yves Rousset-Rouard (classics such as Emmanuelle, Emmanuelle 2, Emmanuelle 3 etc.,) is now run by his son Alexis R-R
Located at the foot of the beautiful hilltop village of Menérbes, 35 kilometres east of Avignon, La Citadelle, in the heart of Le Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon, covers 45 hectares, made up of 65 different parcels of vineyard.
The patchwork nature of the land brings a variety of different soil types and microclimates.
“One of the key geographical features of the Luberon, and the one that sets it apart from neighbouring appellations of the Vaucluse, is that almost all the vineyards face North. This orientation means wines from this area are fresher, with higher natural acidity, and have a greater level of tannins and are often lower in alcohol, explains Rousset-Rouard.
Monsieur Rousset-Rouard came not only with his wines, but also armfuls of truffles, sniffed out by his neighbour’s dog. Guillaume (Iskander) and the team set to work immediately.
Domaine de la Citadelle are reds and whites with an interesting rosé made with Morvedre, Grenache and Syrah grapes.
The red, white and rosés perfectly matched the meltingly delicious amuse bouche, pop in the mouth direct from the oven, feuilléte of truffles. The soothing velouté of pumpkin: Salad of forgotten vegetables with scallops, turnip shavings: wild boar, crispy potatoes, root vegetables: jus: English Stilton and sweet/sour chocolate, caramel, banana dessert.
“The Luberon produces some great wines at very keen prices. Domaine de la Citadelle is one of the best in the region. The red Le Gouvernor 2009, Syrah and Mourvedre is full rich and hearty, with some delicious ripe fruit, and an unexpected finesse for a wine so big”, says Guillaume (Muller).
Not only excellent very drinkable wines, since 1993 Domaine de la Citadelle, has a Corkscrew Museum showcasing 1,200 from the 17th century until to-day.
“The first examples were simple instruments, often in a « T » shape, and demanding strength. Until the arrival of commercial factories in the 19th century, corkscrews were usually one-offs, made “to order” and customized with initials or seals”, explains Alexis R-R
Get to Garance quickly, before it get’s a star ! That’s the general advice of gastronomes who love the place with a passion.
And, plan a Luberon summer, discover the beauty of La Domaine de la Citadelle.
Because you’re worth it.
34 rue Saint-Dominique, 7th
M : Invalides
Average spend from 34€ (lunch)
65€ dinner menu surprise x 5 dishes
Le Domaine de La Citadelle – Le Musée du Tire-Bouchon
T: 04 90 72 41 58
Museum open 9-12h – 14-17h shut Sunday
Call ahead for wine tasting and tours