Restaurant Au Fil du Temps
by Jérôme and Angelina Campanelli
Dinner for two - 12 September 2019
A three hour meal. Three hours which we will never get back. And how grateful we feel that we spent each of those hours - every minute and second of them - at this delightful place.
We know the area well and usually eat out once or twice while visiting. But never here before.
We were somewhat prepared for the style of the evening after reading information on the restaurant’s Facebook and blogspot pages. Neither of those are kept all that much up to date. Which hardly matters if time is spent instead on the sort of attentions which we and all other guests received at the restaurant.
Delivering those attentions at front of house is wife, mother and full-time Wonder Woman, Angelina. She is exemplary - a perfect mixture of professionalism and friendliness. She looked after the entire house single-handed throughout the evening. At first her children added to the atmosphere, playing quietly in the square. They vanished, quietly and apparently unbidden, to their beds and left us to be distracted by their parents’ talents.
The restaurant terrace setting adds its own magic, especially when the mild September Vauclusienne climate and the church clock chime in.
As for chef, Jérôme, he delivers an adventurous menu using lovely fresh ingredients and some clever techniques but never loses sight of the importance of flavour.
You are in the fine care of a chef who says:
(“We have a good pool of customers which allows me to cook the food I love, the food I believe in.”)
Chef’s approach and refusal to compromise is exactly what is needed to create a great menu. And when customers are offered food from such honesty it does nothing except add to their enjoyment.
I found and referenced this interesting and thoughtful review. It really tells you most of what’s needed to know about the restaurant and its people but I still feel compelled to write something in my own words. At the very least to show our appreciation of what Jérôme and Angelina have created.
One more element was a huge success – the wine:
Vallis Petra - Ô Pré de Juliette, Vacqueyras Blanc par Alain Ignace
Viognier, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Marsanne
My confidence is growing here and I had picked it from the list as an interesting local white (I’m including nearby Vacqueyras as local - sorry Ventoux!). Angelina has seriously reliable credentials if you need help with wines. She simply added a smile and enthusiastic nod to my choice and confirmed that it would complement all the fish and meat courses.
It was such a successful food wine. We were lucky enough to track it down later in the week and now have bottles to enjoy at home.
Jérôme cooks with confidence and precision using really fresh ingredients. The interest created throughout the meal is terrific. There is a sure touch and no confusion. Chef knows where to stop. Not every flavour found full expression and the cuisson of our pork dish was not particularly great but there was an insistent whirlwind of such culinary understanding and overall success that triumphs in every dish kicked any small disappointments straight into touch.
The food we enjoyed is recorded below. Read it if you want but bear in mind Jérôme’s philosophy which means that all is likely to change as soon as a season or the quality or availability of an ingredient changes. Don’t rely on seeing the same menu as we did but do count on the same excellence. The evening menu is totally under chef’s confident control. Do let him know of any allergies and food dislikes in advance but after that allow him to do what he does best.
The menu was €49 per person without wine. The whole experience had been a real treat. Best not to say that we’d have happily paid more, eh!
We settled the bill and left wistfully. The time was exactly 23:00. The local pharmacy displayed the matching digits of a still-warm 23 degree temperature. Even though street lights hid the stars they were obviously aligned that night. But our thanks must go to Jérôme and Angelina for shining much brighter than anything or anyone else to make our evening so perfect.
Note - I am in contact with Jérôme to confirm exact details of the dishes I have tried to remember here.
Please be prepared for an update.