Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Lunch at Le Brin d'Olivier, Vaison-la-Romaine

We go to Vaison la Romaine quite often. It's only 10 kms from Sablet and the location for our favorite weekly marché paysan, farmer's market, in the Vaucluse. It is also the closest town with larger grocery stores where we shop for staples like flour, sugar, coffee, yogurt and milk; Intermarché is the one we like best. We also fuel up our car at the Intermarché.

Last fall, we dined for the first time at Le Brin d'Olivier near the Roman bridge in Vaison la Romaine. We enjoyed that meal so much that we decided to go there for lunch after stocking up on the staples we needed at the Intermarché on Sunday morning upon our return to Sablet.

Upon arriving at the entrance to Le Brin d'Olivier, I noticed one change immediately; a bright red notice saying the restaurant was now in the Michelin Guide as a "meilleures adresses à petit prix", essentially one of the better places for a moderate price.

At the top of the business card for Le Brin d'Olivier is written "Restaurant de charme", restaurant with charm; we would agree. The restaurant has dining rooms on two levels. On our previous visit, we were seated in the smaller upstairs dining room. This time we were seated in the lower level dining room off the terrace.

After looking over the menu and wine list, we chose a 50 cl bottle of 2009 Chateau Paradis, Terre des Anges, Rosé, Les Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, to share. It was a pale salmon color, chilled, crisp and delicious.

We gave our order to our server; Shirley decided to order from the A La Carte menu and I chose the 3-course Balade en Provence menu for 29,00 Euros.

Shortly afterwards, our pretty server brought an amuse bouche from the chef to get our appetites going; chilled cream of green asparagus soup and a basket of bread.

For her starter, Shirley enjoyed a terrine of tomato confit and eggplant fondant with a basil emulsion and caramelized balsamic.

I started with a yummy warm cream of brocolli soup topped with a poached egg and roasted prawn. The dish would have been marvelous with one or the other, both made the dish a little complicated.

For my plat, main course, I had a wonderful plate of duck breast roasted pink with coriander, served with roasted yukon gold type potatoes and green peppercorn sauce.

Shirley's plat was filet of salmon dusted with sea salt served over cucumbers marinated with balsamic.

To finish, we shared the fresh orange and mint nage, a sweet aromatic broth, accompanied by an almond tuile.

As we walked out, Shirley paused in the patio for a picture. We look forward to returning to dine on the patio on a sunny warm Provençal day.


  1. Wonderful (and tasty!) description. Beautiful pix!

  2. Thank you for the recommendation! John and I (from N Ireland) ate there last night and the food was wonderful. We too have a house in Sablet - 73 Grande Rue. Perhaps we could meet for a drink and chat about our experiences here (is this appropriate....I'm new to this?). Lou

  3. We want to meet as many people as we can in Sablet and would love to meet up with you for drinks. We have returned to our home in California but will be back in September and then again for the end of the year holidays. Do you live year around in Sablet or do you also spend time in North Ireland?