Restaurant Simone (Villeneuve-lès-Avignon)

© Emmanuel Ferrand

  • Date
  • share

It’s been a few years since Marie-Charlotte Antonini, an in-the-know wine lover, traded in public relations for the papal life at this former cardinal’s livery. With this 15th-century palace as a backdrop, she never tires of providing guests with food and drink prepared by a series of chefs in residence: Julie Caute, Valentina Raffaelli, Priscilla Trâm… And on this spring Sunday, seated on the massive terrace dotted with century-old chestnut and olive trees, drumroll please… we were delightfully surprised to find Arles-based chef Numa Muller (ex-Simone and Paulette in Arles, and Madame Jeanne in Marseille) being offered culinary asylum until September 2023. It was a festival of perfectly crafted plates the day we went, savored to the song of a blackbird: flame-charred green asparagus drizzled with an incredible taggiasche olive jam, and paired with labneh plus harissa mayonnaise; lace-like calf’s head carpaccio intensified by cubed eel and cream; tuna belly lounging on an impeccable celery rémoulade seasoned perfectly with seaweed, Henri Milan verjus and La Guinelle vinegar; classic veal sweetbreads that were as tender as they were crispy, glazed in a full-bodied jus and caressed by a damn good coffee sabayon, all served with a seasonal vegetable ragù, while the nearby table savored a heady porchetta straight from the roasting spit… Before an intense Valrhona chocolate quenelle with toasted almonds and fleur de sel, plus a rich and silky hay ice cream and buckwheat crumble for dessert. // Raoul Taburin 

FEELING THIRSTY? : Provence represent: Libre comme l’air, a Luberon white blend produced by Laura Aillaud (€6.50 a glass), Haru, a rosé from the Domaine Milan in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (€36 a bottle), an Hérault Grenache from Sauta Roc (€37)… 
PRICE: : À la carte €36-56 (lunch), dinner menus €55 (five courses) and €85 (six courses). 

Save this spot in the Fooding app, available on iOS! Download it now in the app store.

The new Le Fooding France Guide is available!

Inside the latest edition, discover our top 400 restaurants, bars, wine cellars, shops and hotels from all over France that’ll be the talk of the town in 2024. Anything else? Our 16-strong list of award winners you’ll not find anywhere else, and nine articles which shine a light on the taste of the times!

2021 Le Fooding guide frontcover

Le Fooding is a print and digital guide to all the restaurants, chefs, bars, stylish hotels and B&Bs that make up the “taste of the times,” plus an annual awards list for new establishments across France, a series of gastronomic events, a tool that allow you to make reservations at some fantastic bistros, and an agency specialized in event planning, content production and consulting… And after conquering France, Belgium is Le Fooding guide’s latest playground!

Fooding® is a registered trademark.