Where to taste the best aioli?
Aïoli is a traditional Provençal dish. Why aioli? Simply because it is the mixture of garlic and olive oil. This sauce has the texture of a fairly firm mayonnaise. It is also called Provençal butter.
Many restaurants in France serve aioli. Unfortunately, it is often a common, slightly garlicy mayonnaise served with poor quality vegetables and a completely unstructured fish. So, we stay hungry and we think that aioli is not that good.
That's what you'll think before you taste the aioli of Joël Gros, chef of the Pont d'Or in Barjols (Var). The Pont d'Or is an institution of Provençal cuisine held for several generations by the Oddo family.
Joël Gros' aioli is undoubtedly the most authentic you can find. Prepared with fresh vegetables, its aioli expresses all the complexity of this typical recipe with brio.
What can be found in the aioli of the Pont d'Or? Cod, mussels, a hard-boiled egg and fresh vegetables : green beans, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. The quality of the products is essential for a good aioli and it is well present. The vegetables are delicious. Cod is cooked to perfection, neither dry nor drowned in water. You will enjoy tasting each ingredient generously with a little aioli sauce. And when you're done, you'll continue with the bread again. It's so good!
If you don't like garlic, you can always choose cream cannelloni or piglet stew, two other specialities of the house.
On the other hand, you won't believe it. It costs less than 20 € to eat a tasty aioli with a glass of wine!
The aioli is served on Friday lunchtime. It is strongly recommended to book because the restaurant is often full on that day.
Address : route de Saint Maximin, 83670 Barjols
Phone : +22.214.171.124.05.23
What to drink with aioli?
You will enjoy a good white wine or a light rosé (Var hills) with your aïoli. The vineyards of the Haut Var are renowned for their quality. So take advantage of the vintages prepared by the surrounding estates to enjoy a truly local experience.
How to prepare aioli?
Traditional aioli is prepared in a mortar. You will easily find very nice stone or wooden mortars with a pestle. The pestle will be used to crush the garlic on which you will gently pour the olive oil. Traditional aioli contains nothing but garlic, olive oil and salt. It's the purists' recipe. It requires a certain effort to get the aioli up. So if you can't do it, you can add an egg yolk or mustard to make it easier to make the sauce.