We were blessed with this title on a web review from a very happy customer, and we love it. It has the twinkle that gives many things French a flirtatious character, a “joie de vivre” that contributes to a love of good food and wine… But I am getting distracted from the subject of this article.
What is an oustau (pronounced “oo-stow”)? Simply, an oustau is a Roman-era style French house found primarily in the southern region of Provence. What makes it unique from other building styles is that it is a large and rambling structure that grew to house the landowner, the laborers and their extended families. The eventual shifts of population, urbanization, politics and agrarian methods would make this style of living obsolete, but many of the stone structures themselves have remained intact. Perhaps the best publicly-accessible example is the Relais & Chateaux hotel Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux de Provence. The remaining oustaus have been purchased over the years by wealthy individuals or corporations.
The kitchen and dining rooms in an oustau would have been used as the central meeting areas where inhabitants would prepare and share food and conversation. Diverse families would become one community around the table. For our restaurant we wanted to combine the good-natured casual quality of a brasserie with the communal spirit of the oustau.
The name Brasserie L’Oustau captures the essence of what we wish to provide our customers — a place where everyone can gather around a table to enjoy life and the community a good meal encourages.