The chef Eric Canino is known as one of the pioneers of healthy French cuisine. In the fashion of the legendary three-Michelin chefs Michel Guèard and Alain Ducasse, he also tries to create light and intensely flavored dishes. Canino goes as far as not using butter and other animal fats in his cooking. Only Mediterranean olive oil is used and in desserts he prefers sweetening with raw cane sugar instead of the refined white powder used in most French pastries.
Vegetarian dish
The luxurious hotel La Réserve Ramatuelle has recently claimed the highest recognition a hotel in France can claim – the status of a Palace. The hotel is located on a stunning property with views across a calming bay right behind the busy beaches of Pamplone just behind St Tropez. The views can be appreciated the most from the hotel’s roof bar.
B Champagne
The restaurant itself has a meditative vista through the large glass windows, but the terrace is more secluded offering a more peaceful dining experience. The smart modern architecture respecting its surrounding natural environment is refreshing and light.
In the same spirit of freshness and lightness is build the restaurant’s menu. Generally locally sourced from one farm, organic and low in calories while looking fabulous like those healthy looking people consuming this kind of food. Balancing a low-calorie meal though is challenging. There are some chefs achieving excellent flavors in not-fattening dishes.
Dining at La Reserve in Ramatuelle
For example Patrick Raingeard currently at Riviera’s Cap d’Estel restaurant captures the essence of light and delicious cooking. In the first years, the chef Eric Canino could not grasp the right balance. The only think I used to enjoy from the  entire dinner was a cheese plate with fresh bread, the least healthy items on the menu. This has changed though and with the coveted Michelin star arrived also the chef’s culinary eloquence.
I remember a plate crowned with strawberries and crystalized petals on a bed of chopped tomatoes fixed in a fine jelly that I could not finish because the dish was so bad.
Michelin dish at La Reserve Ramatuelle
The Langustine Starter is now sublime. The premium Langoustines from Brittany are served both raw and cooked look like a piece of art one would hang on a wall. The langoustines are soft, but not overwhelming with richness of flavors. The cooked pieces were slightly better than the raw tartar “bejewelled” with flowers like a child’s creation on a play field.
The cheese is fresh, mostly local or French. It along with the fruit – dominated deserts is the most indulging part of the meal as well as the daily freshly baked white brioche, olive bread and other starchy sides.
small sweet treats
Drinks: Getting an aperitif at an outdoor bar (on nice warm days there is a wonderful roof terrace open as well) next to the restaurant brings a holiday breeze.
The wine list at the restaurant is good. The patron of the hotel also owns Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux and a winery in Tokaji so the list features some interesting bottles from his properties. Otherwise, the list is focused on the French wines. We usually order red Burgundy. Like a fresh Volnay or a lovely Gevrey-Chambertin. These are also great wines to drink on their own. For a white the Alsatian Rieslings are interesting match to the seafood dishes.
Opening hours: seasonally from April – mid October.
Lunch: 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Dinner: 07:30 pm to 10:00 pm (also a buffet breakfast for hotel guests)
Contact: +33 4 94 44 94 44
Address: Chemin de la Quessine; 83350 Ramatuelle, France

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