Villedieu dates back to medieval times when the village was a Commandery of the Knights of Templar who owned a chateau with a single tower. The village was founded during a time when potential invaders would come around so defensive fortifications were built which you can see as you stroll around the village.
The walls are over 32 feet high. Restored at different times, there are three majestic gates off Place de la Liberation. The middle gate seen below is topped by a belfry and has a clock on the face which dates from the 12th century. On the arch is the papal coat of arms, the only authentic papal coat of arms still in place in the Vaucluse.
|Gateway through defensive wall into the center of Villedieu|
After navigating the narrow street which leads into Villedieu, you arrive at the village square, the aforementioned Place de la Liberation, where you will find the Mairie (town hall), several cafes and a wonderful pizza restaurant called La Maison Bleue on the sides of the square. Our friends Bruce and Christine live in Villedieu.
While you find pizza all over France, pizza in Provence taste better. In my opinion it's because in Provence we have wonderful tomatoes, basil, olive oil, cheese and anchovies. Second, the region's proximity to Italy and its influx of Italian immigrants, vacationers and retirees has, over the decades, brought a steady supply of pizza cognoscenti, people who know a lot about pizza to Provence.
|La Maison Bleue Restaurant|
La Maison Bleue is owned by a chef named Daniel Roger. From a small kitchen dominated by a large pizza oven he built, he turns out a variety of salads, large enough to share, and pizzas with a variety of toppings on dough perfectly blistered by the heat of the pizza oven. He also offers pastas and other specials. During the summer, he offers a selection of grilled meats.
We have become friends with Chef Daniel as we dine often at La Maison Bleue during the 8 months the restaurant is open. March, April, May, June, September and October, La Maison Bleue is open Thursday through Sunday. July and August, the restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday.
A few weeks ago, we were honored with a visit from two of our long term employees and friends from our Bistro Des Copains; chef Melissa and Debbie who served throughout the nearly 9 years the Bistro was open. One of our guests favorite items at the Bistro was our wood fired pizza and we went to La Maison Bleue to dine and introduce them to chef Daniel and his crew.
|Our special friends Melissa and Debbie|
We love to sit outside in the village square when we go to La Maison Bleue but since the weather was unseasonably cool and windy, that was not an option. La Maison Bleue is decorated with bright colors; orange walls, blue and yellow colored tablecloths and blue chairs.
|Shirley and I enjoy La Maison Bleue in Villedieu|
The pizza's and salads are quite large so we usually end up sharing. I ordered the La Montagnard salad with greens shown below, a whole roasted Camembert cheese topped with tomatoes and pine nuts. Toasted bread accompanied the salad; wonderful for spreading with the warm, oozing cheese.
Another favorite is La Campagnard, a salad with greens, toasted wheat bread spread with chèvre cheese, toasted pine nuts, honey and herbs de Provence.
|La Montagnard salad|
Shirley and I shared our favorite pizza called L'Indigo, shown below, which was covered with tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella, chèvre, Roquefort, and herbs de Provence.
Another favorite of ours is the L'Azur pizza, which is covered with tomato sauce, Eggplant, mozzarella and pesto.
One of Debbie's favorite items, mine too, on our Bistro Des Copains' menu was a cheesy, creamy Gratin de Macaroni, a wonderful mac and cheese. She couldn't resist trying one of the gratins that chef Daniel offers nightly at La Maison Bleue seen below.
|Gratin de macaroni|
Despite the fact that we only get to the area a few times each year, it is heart warming to be greeted as old friends by Chef Daniel, his crew including server Natacha, who hails from Russia and many times at the end of the evening by Patricia, Chef Daniel's sweet wife.
|Chef Melissa and Chef Daniel in front of the La Maison Bleue wood burning pizza oven|
If you are in Sablet or the surrounding area between March and October, and looking for a tasty but simple meal, we highly recommend La Maison Bleue in Villedieu. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during warm weather when Place de la Liberation becomes a grand terrace shared by a café and 2 restaurants. Tables and chairs are arranged around a fountain with the area for the café and each restaurant defined by the color of chairs.
Sitting under the plane trees with family and friends on the square during a spring, summer or early fall evening is a magical experience and makes the food and wine taste oh so good.
La Maison Bleue
Place de la Libération
Tel: +33 4 90 28 97 02