D'Ici et d'Ailleurs, AvignonThis busy little brasserie down a pretty cobbled street just off the place de l'Horloge in central Avignon offers a varied and unusual menu that mixes French and international specialities.

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The lunchtime and evening set menus - which change regularly - are fair value and plenty of regulars turn up to take advantage of them.

In summer the crowded, bustling, informal terrace is the place to be (book ahead for a table) and in winter the Zen-like interior dining room is an elegant alternative. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

However, as with all restaurants, the dining experience can vary: we've had one excellent meal here and one very disappointing one, which means we no longer recommend it unreservedly.

But first the clever concept: D'Ici et d'Ailleurs means "from here and elsewhere" and the line-up is a corresponding mélange of classic French / provençal gastronomy and fusion cuisine from everywhere from North Africa to the Pacific Rim.

Beatrice Bellegarde of D'Ici et d'AilleursThere's something here for all tastes, then. The chef, Beatrice Bellegarde (pictured), travels abroad twice a year to find fresh ideas for her repertoire.

Depending on the season, her menu might include anything from foie gras in Muscat de Beaumes jelly to sushi, couscous - or a brownie from Chicago.

The first meal we sampled featured a featherlight brique (stuffed, savoury North African filo pastry) as a starter, accompanied by an elegant oriental salad.

A choice of mains included a simply roasted coquelet (young cockerel) and a succulent salmon fillet smeared with pesto and accompanied by a purée of carrots.

The second meal was a much more mixed affair. On a hot day in mid August the terrace was packed and the staff seemed to be struggling to cope.

The starters were still light, tasty and imaginative (provençal vegetables confits with goat cheese and thick-cut gravadlax with yuzu, an oriental citrus fruit).

But the organic steak (for which a supplement was charged), ordered medium rare, arrived overcooked and leathery. The replacement steak went to the opposite extreme. It was virtually blue, and just as tough.

Worse, the staff reacted aggressively to complaints, although the steak was eventually deducted from the bill with a rather bad grace. The customer is always wrong!

So the latest verdict on D'Ici et D'Ailleurs: still worth considering - but approach with caution.

Visited September 2011 and August 2016

Where: 4, rue Galante, 84000 Avignon. Tel: (+33) 4 90 14 63 65. Fax: (+33) 4 90 85 77 42. Website for D'Ici et d'Ailleurs

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