Bistrot Mogador is located on the grounds of Chateau d’Estoublon, the centerpiece of rolling vineyards near Fontvielle.
The Bistrot offers dining outdoors under towering shade trees in front of the chateau, or inside in a vault-like room also used for tastings. Outside dining, weather permitting, is infinitely more enjoyable, with vistas of trees, and garden-like grounds with roses and all manner of landscaping.
Service has always been friendly and efficient here. The knock on Mogador through the years has been the turnover in the kitchen, with a parade of talented chefs putting out top-rate food for a couple of years and then moving on. On our visit, a new chef had just taken charge, and we were anxious to see if what was happening with the menu.
We arrived and were promptly seated by a gracious server. Menus appeared, and kirs ordered and served, while we perused the menu. The entrées looked good, especially the “Toast St. Marcellin.” As this is one of our favorite cheeses, we decided to try it and were rewarded with a small round of St. Marcellin cheese, wrapped with a thin slice of lardon (bacon), then melted over a round of bread with fresh arugula on the side. A wonderfully imaginative dish that could only be faulted as being too much, too rich, for an entrée. The plats were equally creative – Camargue black rice risotto with chicken, and a delicate cod with spring vegetables – both prepared perfectly with an appealing presentation.
The chateau’s wines and olive oils are excellent. We chose a rosé to go with our meal and found it crisp and delightful, and reasonably priced to boot.
The tab for lunch for two was very reasonable, especially given the quality of the food. This is an excellent choice for lunch if you are in the area, and worth a modest drive to get there. Seating outside can be tight, so it is worth a call to reserve a table outside.
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