WHERE TO DINE
The restaurant at the Résidence de la Pinède (p. 225) serves flavor-filled Provençal
Colors GRILLS Relatively new on the St-Tropez dining scene, this restaurant offers
a verdant garden setting and one of the town’s very few wood-burning ovens, on which
a succulent array of fresh meat and fish are slowly cooked. Here, amid a decor of—
you guessed it—strong colors, mostly greens and violets, you can enjoy grilled filet
steaks, rib eyes, and such fresh fish as sea bass. Most are accompanied with creamy
house-style mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables.
3 rue du Temple.&04-94-97-00-15. Reservations required July–Aug. Main courses 20€–30€ ($26–$39). AE, DC,
MC, V. Daily 8pm–midnight. Closed late Oct to late Mar.
Le Girelier PROVENÇAL The Rouets own this portside restaurant whose blueand-
white color scheme has become a trademark. They serve grilled fish in many versions,
as well as bouillabaisse (only for two). Also on the menu are brochette of
monkfish, a kettle of spicy mussels, and pipérade (a Basque omelet with pimentos, garlic,
and tomatoes). Most dishes are moderately priced.
Quai Jean-Jaurès.&04-94-97-03-87. Main courses 28€–82€ ($36–$107); fixed-price menu 42€ ($55). AE, DC,
MC, V. Daily noon–2pm and 7–11pm. Closed Nov–Feb 15.
Les Mouscardins FRENCH/PROVENÇAL At the end of St-Tropez’s harbor,
this restaurant wins awards for culinary perfection. The dining room is in formal
Provençal style with an adjoining sunroom under a canopy. The menu includes classic
Mediterranean dishes; as an appetizer, we recommend an unusual version of olive
and almond soup, and John Dory dredged in bread crumbs, fried, and served with a
purée of celery. The two celebrated fish stews of the Côte d’Azur are offered: bourride
Provençale and bouillabaisse. The fish dishes are excellent, particularly the sauté of
monkfish, wild mushrooms, and green beans. The dessert specialties are soufflés made
with Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Hours listed below might be the posted times, but
the chefs don’t always follow the schedule. For example, during July and August they
might not be open for lunch if “everybody is at the beach.”
1 rue Portalet.& 04-94-97-29-00. Reservations required. Main courses 42€–58€ ($55–$75); fixed-price menu
58€–98€ ($75–$127) at lunch and dinner; bouillabaisse 52€ ($68). AE, DC, MC, V. June–Sept Mon–Sat noon–2pm
and 7:30–10pm; Oct–May Tues–Sat noon–2pm and 7:30–9:30pm.
Spoon Byblos FRENCH/INTERNATIONAL This is one of the many entrepreneurial
statements by Alain Ducasse, considered by some the world’s greatest
chef—or at least the most acclaimed. Originally launched in Paris, Spoon has traveled
everywhere from London to the Riviera. Here it serves the cuisines of many cultures
with produce mainly from the Mediterranean. It draws special inspiration from the
food of Catalonia, Andalusia, and Morocco, and offers more than 300 wines from
around the world. Background music ranges from hip-hop to the hits of the ’70s. It’s
terribly fashionable, although you might grow a bit weary of its self-conscious sense of
chic after an hour or two within its ultra-designed premises.
The restaurant opens onto a circular bar made of blue-tinted glass and polished
stainless steel. The menu will have you salivating before you even take a bite. Dig into
shrimp and squid consommé with a hint of jasmine and orange, or spicy king prawns
on a skewer. Then try delectable lamb couscous or spit-roasted John Dory. You might top off a meal with the chef ’s favorite cheesecake or a slice of Neapolitan with the taste
of strawberry, vanilla, and pistachio.
In the Hôtel Byblos, av. Paul-Signac.&04-94-56-68-00. Reservations required. Main courses 28€–40€ ($36–$52).
AE, DC, DISC, MC, V.July–Aug daily 8pm–12:30am; otherwise daily 8–11pm. Closed mid-Oct to mid-Apr.
Auberge des Maures PROVENÇAL One of our favorite cost-conscious
restaurants in an otherwise very expensive town lies close to one end of the all-pedestrian
rue Allard, within a stone-sided building whose roof rolls away during clement
weather for a view of the moon and stars. The space within the dining room is more
than doubled with the tables that members of the Salinesi family (Evelyn and
Phillippe) set up during clement weather in the garden, within sight of splashing
fountains and ornamental shrubbery. Adding to the drama is the dining room’s view
over a hardworking kitchen, where the staff wears black and churns out tempting platters
that are completely based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Menu items include
grilled versions of many kinds of fresh fish and meat, and often taste best when preceded
with a starter known as a panache Provençal, on which are piled deep-fried zucchini
blossoms; hearts of artichoke barigoule; and a medley of petits farcis. Murals that
highlight the stone walls of the place include such Provence-specific frescoes as fields
of lavender, artfully rendered in oil colors.
4 rue du Docteur Boutin.&04-94-97-01-50. Reservations recommended. Main courses 10€–25€ ($13–$33). Setprice
menu 42€ ($55). AE, DC, MC, V. Daily 7:30pm–1am. Closed Dec–Mar.
Chez Joseph TRADITIONAL FRENCH Chic, yet casual and friendly, this
restaurant has become a permanent fixture on the St-Tropez restaurant scene. The
crowd is heavily gay and fashionable, and might include mini-episodes across the bar
of champagne cocktails being ordered and consumed, all in a way that’s breezy, airy,
and usually with some degree of style. At least during high season, the crowd here
tends to remain in place until as late as 6am. Adjacent to the bar is a mostly red-toned,
vaguely retro-loooking restaurant with about 35 tables, giving you lots of options for
people-watching. Menu items are consciously artful: A favorite salad contains wild
mixed greens, mesclun, artichoke hearts, and parmesan shavings. The best main
courses feature lasagna studded with chunks of lobster; brochettes of fresh-grilled fish;
grilled scallops in a white wine and butter sauce; and a very unusual version of tournedos
Rossini (filet steak layered with foie gras) and served with a shellfish sauce.
Place de la Mairie.& 04-94-97-01-66. Reservations recommended. Set-price buffet-style lunch 25€ ($33); main
courses lunch and dinner 20€–50€ ($26–$65). AE, MC, V. May–Sept daily 1–3pm and 8pm–midnight; Oct and Apr
Tues–Sat 1–3pm and 8pm–midnight. Bar closes between 3 and 6am. Closed Nov–Apr.
Chez Maggi PROVENÇAL/ITALIAN St-Tropez’s most flamboyant gay
restaurant and bar also draws straight diners and drinkers. At least half its floor space
is devoted to a bar, where patrons range in age from 20 to 60. The lack of tables in
front makes cruising at Chez Maggi, in the words of loyal patrons, très crazée and
seems to extend for blocks in every direction. Meals are served in an adjoining dining
room. Menu items include chicken salad with ginger, goat-cheese salad, petits farcis
provençaux (vegetables stuffed with minced meat and herbs), brochettes of sea bass
with lemon sauce, and chicken curry with coconut milk, capers, and cucumbers.
7 rue Sibille.&04-94-97-16-12. Reservations recommended. Main courses 14€–28€ ($18–$36); fixed-price menu
33€ ($43). MC, V. Restaurant daily 7pm–midnight; bar daily 7pm–3am. Closed Oct to mid-Mar.