Located at a bend in a narrow lane within the village ramparts, this traditional restaurant is home to all the passions of Jean-Claude Baldissera and his partner Frédérique. As he oversees the meal service, Jean-Claude tells the story of his Provençal cuisine, including dishes like fresh pasta, stuffed vegetables, and oven-roasted lamb with candied potatoes and local wild mushrooms. “This is a family bistro offering local food,” says Jean-Claude as he prepares a casserole stew. Although he studied at the Luminy architecture school in Marseille, it was his long-held love of cooking that eventually won out. “I grew up watching my mother and grandmother cook,” he explains. “But my mentor was Elvire, a friend of my father’s who ran the Crèche Provençale restaurant in the old part of Toulon for 60 years. I loved to see her make her fresh pasta in front of the customers.” To this day, he pays respect to this memory by having an open kitchen and working in front of the fireplace to be near his clients. Jean-Claude is devoted to Saint-Tropez, and the nearby mountains since he is an enthusiastic skier. “I love the region for its natural beauty and its cosmopolitan people. In the summer, we welcome the whole world here,” he says, noting that with some loyal customers, he has hosted three generations of the same family. “We receive people here as if it were our home; the furnishings and decorations in the restaurant are things we collected, and there are gifts as well, like the African masks that a customer gave me.” It is the food that is the real star, though. Fish en papillote, îles flottantes with grilled almond slivers, sometimes with strawberries or raspberries, English cream flavored with verbena… Inspiration guides this chef, and his creations never fail to please. “The menu doesn’t really change, but we do have daily specials depending on what surprises we find at the market,” he explains. Cooking nourished Jean-Claude’s childhood, and now his recipes will provide you with enchanted memories.

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