SAINT PAUL DE VENCE: One last note regarding my endless summer vacation. The last night in August, a couple of weeks ago we had the most delicious dinner with friends at their restaurant in Saint Paul de Vence. Nathalie and Fred own the Restaurant, Le Tilleul, which is located in the old village of St. Paul just when you enter the old entrance to the village. We sat at a sunny place under a hundred year old lime tree and enjoyed being at a friend`s owned restaurant without the need of reading the menu and making our own choice.
Fred is half French, half Swedish. He grew up in Saint Paul and then lived in Munich, where he met his wife Nathalie, who has a French mother and a German father. Some years ago they decided to return to live in Saint Paul and manage their restaurant with lots of love and care. While Fred is always looking around to see if all his guests are happy and enjoying the evening, Nathalie tells me about their endless ideas of making Le Tilleul unique and even in the winter months when the French Riviera is less crowded worth visiting for a lunch outside in the autumn sun or an evening with friends in their cosy interior of the restaurant which is designed by the French interior designer Jacqueline Morabito.
After a coupe of chilled Champagne we eat Tuna Sashimi, Foie Gras, bean salad and chilled Gazpacho. You can smell, see and taste that everything is freshly cooked by the Chef with organic ingredients and ripe tasty vegetables and herbs. The main course is sole with sautéed vegetables and for desert I chose a Vacherin which is a typical desert for this region. A meringue with a scoop of homemade coconut ice-cream, topped with red berries, ripe melon and tropic fruits. We drink their house rosé which comes in a beautiful handwritten labeled bottle (also designed by Jacqueline Morabito).
We will come back in December for a lunch outside, wrapped in blankets, our faces warmed by the Riviera’s winter sun enjoying a light lunch with Fred & Nathalie.
What is the idea of your restaurant, Le Tilleul?
Create a cosy, nice and welcoming place with a good atmosphere, in summer as well as in wintertime, with the aim to propose original and good food. Our biggest pleasure is when our guests are leaving satisfied and happy about the time they spend in our place.
Your favorite dish in autumn?
Knuckle of veal, longtime cooked with vegetables of the season
Duck breast roasted with figs, smashe “vitelotte” potatoes, tender sauce
Any herb or spice your Chef likes most and why?
coriander and lemongrass, he likes a lot to mix special flavours to his creations and wants to propose a innovating cusine
How would you like to enjoy a simple lunch at Le Tilleul?
“Salade niçoise” with fresh semi-cooked tuna, poached egg
Piece of beef, mashed potatoes flavoured with olives from Taggiasca
Coffee served with typical little French pastry
Tell me the story of your house rosé which comes in a beautifully designed bottle?
It was when we finally decided to take advice from a professional to do a redesign of our restaurant that we got the chance to meet Jacqueline Morabito. She’s a fantastic, passionate and famous interior designer with many many talents. She creates not only houses and their interieurs, but also objects and… food packaging especially for her own collection LE PETITE EPICERIE de Jacqueline Morabito (delicious Italian products!). So she has been asked from the Domaine Château Léoube to take care of their design, “entre autre” for their precious cuvée “Secrèt de Léoube”. Looking at this resplendence and the original design of this bottle “sérigraphié par Jacqueline Morabito”, it seemed just natural propose this delicious rosé to our clients and to present these beautiful bottles as an element of decoration in our restaurant.