“Lou Cigalon, Alain Parodi” Valbonne

February 6, 2006

Lou Cigalon, Alain Parodi/Valbonne
4&6 blvd Carnot, 04 93 12 27 07
The sign outside this old town house says Lou Cigalon, the menu says Restaurant Alain Parodi, and the bill says both, but whichever you call it, call and enjoy one of four menus or an à la carte meal. The four menus, including the 7-course Dégustation (90€), 4-course Incontournable (70€), 4 course Autour du Marché (40€), and the 3-course (with choices, but offered at lunch only) Tendance Bistrot (26€).
Linda, Mike, Gary and Varian opted for the Dégustation and were quite pleased. Three amuse gueules started us off—prawn beignets, beet purée with truffle, and foie gras with truffle. Mike and Gary drank the house cocktail, champagne with mango and lychee foam that they pronounced delicious. Linda and Varian stuck with plainer stuff, kir and champagne. The Salmon Three Ways to begin the actual menu was delicious. The octopus soup was Asian influenced and the mashed potatoes topped with truffles and potato foam, sublime. Gary thought the richness and taste was right up there with Robuchon in his Paris 3-star days. The coquilles St Jacques were roasted and garnished with roasted parsnips and a purée of celery, parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes. We all enjoyed the pigeonneau with quince and a terrific croquette of foie gras, although Mike would have preferred a little more squab. The taleggio cheese was topped with scallions and roasted pine nuts for a different presentation, and a tasty one. Finally the dessert paired chocolate in the form of a finger shaped crousti-fondant with mandarin orange sherbert.

To accompany these fine dishes, we started with a 2004 Condrieu, Côte Chataillon and followed with a lovely 2002 Volnay, Champans. Thus, we were not only well fed; we were very well plied with wines.

The cuisine is definitely modern with international flavors and trendy techniques, such as foam, but they are not overdone and are effectively integrated into a traditional French core. The staff is young and the service efficient.

While the restaurant is not hard to find, it is easy to miss. It is right on a bend of this little street and not in the area where all the other businesses are located. (The street opposite leads to a parking lot below.) The building fronts right on the street and one enters into a makeshift foyer which is really the small kitchen which takes up most of the room, although at a bit higher level. Dining rooms are to the right and upstairs, finished in such a way as to let the old building’s bones speak for themselves. Stone floors, whitewashed, beamed ceilings, and niches furnished with old books, old coffee grinders and apparently local, but pleasant art.


One Response to ““Lou Cigalon, Alain Parodi” Valbonne”

  1. Nytta Kyoko Says:

    Spending so good time and so freindly charmy so fine dans good french food on beside french freind Amal recommending special place in this part of france. Thanks a lot for this teasty memories.

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