Le Vivier | Restaurant Review | L’Isle Sur La Sorgue |Provence | France | Natural wine

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Le Vivier Heart
Restaurants and bars
Price: Moderate - High

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +33 4 9038 5280
Address: 800 Cours Fernande Peyre
L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence
Country: France

Le Vivier, a restaurant in the charming Provencal town of L'Isle sur la Sorgue, sits right on the edge of the river from which the town gains its name. Here you will find professional service and clever cooking in a somewhat bland building.
And, of course, if you are visiting Provence there is no question that you should visit this town with its array of antique shops, its narrow pedestrian streets within the old quarter and its weekly market where tourists haggle for bargains from local artists and brocante dealers.
Le Vivier became a favourite thanks to a pigeon pie (a dense piece of rare pigeon breast, cèpes and foie gras, enclosed in pastry), served with a tiny salad and the slow-roasted thigh and leg. It typifies what there is to like about this place - strong well-matched flavours, skilful, self-assured cooking, and clean lines.
While not particularly Provencal - a starter like pigs trotters with red mullet and a coriander vinaigrette could sit comfortably on any modern restaurant's menu - it takes full advantage of the extraordinary produce available in the neighbourhood, and that's what gives it a strong sense of place.
There is a good list of wines by the glass on the clever wine list which also contains some natural and biodynamic wines such as the biodynamic and natural Domaine Saint Nicolas Les Clous from the Fiefs Vendeens appellation, a selection from Henri Milan from Saint Remy de Provence, the Corbieres wines of Maxime Magnon, the carignan-based wines of Domaine Rimbert from Saint Chinian and the venerable La Grange des Peres from the Languedoc.
On a visit in 2013 we found that the standard of food, service and the wine program were all as strong as before. The pigeon pie is still there and as delicious as always, the foie gras mousse served as an amuse bouche was stunning and the Dublin Bay prawns were exceptional. We enjoyed a stunning bottle of Mikulski Meursault and then a Passetoutgrain from the delightful Fanny Sabre.

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