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Bonnieux: Le Tinel

Place Gambetta , Phone: 04.90.75.61.28
www.letinel.com
Closing day: Season is beginning of April to end of October

Reviewed by: AlanT from New Zealand, review #2731

When: 2006

A fantastic location to spend our last evening in Provence

We had been holidaying in Provence for two weeks staying at Menerbes & were leaving on Bastille Day 2006 so we chose to dine in Bonnieux with friends from Istres.

Le Tinel were happy to accept a late booking and we dined on the top floor where we could view the floodlit Lacoste ruin and hear the local church bell tolling on the hour. Being Bastille eve there were fireworks as well. The 3 course meal was superb and excellent value at 32 euros pp including wine and coffee.

We have recommended this restaurant to several friends and would have no hesitation in returning.


Reviewed by: Kaydee from TN, review #1858

When: 2006

Excellent small restaurant in Bonnieux. Interesting/affordable dinner menu (different menu at lunch). Panoramic terrace.

Dessert at Le Tinel (cream puffs with honey), photo by

Charley and I were anxious to eat at Le Tinel during our two week trip to the Luberon at the end of March 2006, based on the many positive recommendations from other Slow Travelers. We were disappointed to find it still closed when we first arrived in Bonnieux, but local friends told us it would open "soon." We got lucky and ended up being able to eat there on March 28th, which was the first day it was open for the 2006 season.

We had a wonderful meal-- Charley thought the best we had on this trip. We had eaten earlier in the week at Le Fournil, and I struggled to choose my favorite between the two.

Le Tinel is located on the main square of Bonnieux, about midway up the village. You can take a steep narrow street up to the square from the traffic circle (go up in front of the name "Bonnieux" spelled out in bushes) or park down by the boules court and walk up.

The indoor dining room is located on the second floor of the building-- an intimate dining room with a bar and nine tables in varous configurations. The decor is attractive, and the night we were there (chilly), there was a fire in a small fireplace. Wonderful music was playing-- a singer name Ceseria Evera. (We bought one of her CDs at the Apt market later in the week.) We struck up a conversation with the owner Nicholas, who invited us to climb upstairs to see the terrace on the third level. The big open room has about 50 places and offers a beautiful panoramic view across the plain to Lacoste and other perched villages on the opposite hills. Nicholas was very surprised to have five tables of diners on his unannounced opening night.

Le Tinel ofers a 26 euro "menu" of entree, main plat and dessert. There were four choices for each course. Nicholas told us that it is possible to order fewer courses, but he doesn't present this option on the menu.

Our table included a complimentary dish of olives. I ordered the "aperitif maison" as a drink before dinner and will have this again.

For our entrees, Charley had goat cheese in a pastry. I had an asparagus/broccoli dish in a pastry with mushroom sauce.

The four choices for the main plat were lamb, dourade (fish), rabbit and a vegetarian option. I had the lamb (2 euro extra) and Charley had the rabbit. We both loved our meals and the serving sizes were substantial.

For dessert I had the "St. Hilaire"-- cream puffs with honey. Charley had chocolate mousse with pear sauce.

The wine list included local wines, a couple in each category. We ordered a Cotes de Ventoux red from Domaine de la Coquillade, that we enjoyed so much that we went off in search of the winery the next day! Wine prices were very reasonable.

Nicholas speaks excellent English. He told us that he runs a seven-month season, from the beginning of April until the end of October (more or less). He is open every day. He offers a different lunch menu (simple and quick things like salads) since he finds that tourists are anxious to get back to their sightseeing.

We did have a reservation, though it wasn't necessary that night. Later in the season, dinner reservations would be essential. We definitely will eat here again!


Reviewed by: aggie from USA, review #1521

When: 2005

How Sweet it is

a few of the reasons I love Provence, photo by aggie

Le Tinel is a comfortable, fairly casual place that serves good food at good prices. At 28 euros per person it was a bargain night indeed. The food was artfully prepared and delivered to our table by the owner's mother who was helping out that night. The meals were wonderfully prepared and each course was a pleasure, culminating in two of the best desserts of our trip- a pyramid shaped tiramisu and a Charlotte Caramel. Everything about Le Tinel was enjoyable.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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