Pistou, along with Maître Renard and Astoux (tomorrow’s post), is one of our favourite restaurants in Cannes.

Pistou, incidentally, is the Provençal version of pesto, although without pine nuts.

(Photo credit: TripAdvisor)

Pascal and Patricia Flavel own Le Pistou, located at 53 Rue Félix Faure, where the classic seafood restaurants are.

Pascal Flavel is the chef we’ve never seen. He spends his time in the kitchen, creating ‘gastronomy at gentle prices’.

We often eat here twice during our stay. We did so once again in June 2015.

Our first dinner this year cost a very reasonable €79 for two, including a bottle of regional rosé, Château Minuty.

On that occasion, SpouseMouse enjoyed crispy, unctuous deep fried prawns — gambas — in light batter. I had the traditional fish soup, which was rather bland on its own until one added the regional aioli, rouille — full of crushed garlic and just the right amount of saffron. The soup came with the traditional baguette croutons and finely grated cheese.

For our main course, SpouseMouse had maigret de canard (duck) and I tucked into a plate of gambas. No trip to Cannes is complete without having gambas at least once.

Our desserts were delightful. SpouseMouse had a baba rhum with plenty of rum and I loved the cinnamon flavoured crème brulée. It is unusual for the French to cook with cinnamon, so this was a real treat.

Our second visit this year was for the seven-course menu dégustation, our final dinner and a memorable one, indeed. We’d had the ‘menu dég’, as Le Pistou wait staff call it, two years ago. We talked about it for months afterward.

As we were eating on a Saturday, we decided to reserve a table the day before and told the maitre d’ that we would be having the menu dég. Judging from his facial expression, we’d made his day.

When we arrived the following evening, he seated us at a table for two just off the terrace. He asked us for a wine choice — Château Sainte Roseline — and our evening took off.

Flavel has changed the menu slightly, but it still titillates the taste buds.

We started with lobster in tomato-parsley coulis with grated carrots and orange ginger sauce on the side. It shouldn’t work but it does — brilliantly!

The next course was tatin au foie gras. This must be unique to Le Pistou. What a revelation! It is two panfried pieces of lobe of foie gras resting on a small tarte tatin: thin apple slices baked in Calvados resting on light, buttery puff pastry. How Flavel came up with this combination, we’ll never know. Yet, it is a highly flavoursome dish.

Afterward, we had langouste with rice and a light cream sauce enhanced with lemon grass and parsley. It was delightful.

Then came the palate cleanser, green apple sorbet flavoured with Calvados. It was perfect in every way. We could taste plenty of apple and identify the Calvados.

The fillet of beef was the main course. It arrived rare, as ordered, with a tasty morel sauce. Flavel’s heavenly potatoes dauphinoise — wafer thin slices in light cream sauce — made an ideal accompaniment to the tender, yielding beef.

Our cheese plates — a generous assortment of four on each plate — came next. By the time I’d finished, I wondered if I’d have room for dessert.

The wait staff knowingly gave us a bit of a pause prior to presenting SpouseMouse with baba au rhum and me with a tangy lemon tartlet.

We finished everything. We were members of the Clean Plate Club!

The bill came to €158.30. Compare this to the menu dégustations at the grand hotels on the Croisette and this would be the cost per person. Le Pistou really does offer gastronomy at gentle prices.

We highly recommend Le Pistou. It will be among the first places we visit on our next trip.