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Hotel and Restaurant Pic

An overnight stop

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If you're planning the classic French road trip—Paris to the Riviera—the Hôtel and Restaurant Pic is once again the pick of the litter as an overnight stop between capital and coast.

Long one of the shrines of French haute cuisine, Pic has had its ups and downs since Jacques Pic departed the kitchen in 1992. However, his daughter, Anne Pic-Sinapian, who took over the kitchen two years ago, has turned out to be a talent in her own right, plus the hotel's 15 spacious rooms have been renovated.

Pic-Sinapian wants to reclaim the third Michelin star the restaurant lost in 1995. Her menu, a sort of miniature French culinary history, is divided between Les Intemporels (The Timeless Dishes) and Les Actuels (The New Ones). The one classic that shouldn't be missed is Grandmother Sophie, a gratin of local crayfish tails. The dish was created by and named for Sophie Pic, who founded the restaurant in 1891. The modern menu, which changes seasonally, offers a sublime vichyssoise of asparagus with lobster and summer truffles, and a luscious veal chop cooked en cocotte with a ragout of vegetables and a garnish of bon-bon sized pieces of caramelized ris de veau. (If you end up just passing by at noon, try the auberge's second restaurant, the rustic Auberge du Pin, which has an excellent $24, three-course, prix fixe menu.)

Rooms have floors of handmade Salernes tiles, are furnished with handsome open-fronted wardrobes and white-painted Provençal furniture, and overlook a courtyard garden with a fountain. Most have private terraces—perfect settings for the generous country breakfast. And they now have high-tech comforts like air-conditioning, satellite television, and Internet jacks.

Dinner: $155-$280. Rooms: $140-$280. 285 Ave. Victor-Hugo (five minutes off the A7); 33-4-75-44-15-32; fax 33-4-75-40-96-03.


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