April 9, 2007

8, bis, rue du Collet. 04 93 13 06 45

(April 3, 2007)   Six years ago we watched this charming, low-key shop take shape as the owner renovated this Old Nice address. We noticed the large metal vats of olive oil and the five or six wooden tables, thinking to ourselves who needs another olive oil place.le_restaurant_copie1.jpg How wrong we were – twice wrong.

 It’s not just another olive oil shop selling what everyone else sells, and it’s more than a place to buy oil. Olivieri is a great Nice restaurant – simple, under-stated, very casual atmosphere serving innovative and tasty dishes.A friend suggested that a group of meet here after a recent vernissage at the Museum of Photography.

 Among the first to arrive, we chatted with the chef/owner, Nadim Berouti whose former career was in finance at Merrill-Lynch. Now he just beams with happiness as he talks about his food and his oil. Beats the stock market everytime.

Each day Nadim creates a menu of about four entrées and six or seven main courses, each showcasing a different one of his special oils. To start us off, he poured a couple of different oils for our bread and told us about them. The first, from a producer in St Jeannet, for instance, was a light but nutty counterpoint to a peppery one from Les Alpes de Haute Provençe.

In October/ November, Nadim says he buys only enough oil from the producers he knows to get him through until August, just short of the next year’s batch. Buy some to take home, but don’t expect fancy bottles. The focus here is the oil. And, it will be fresh and wonderful.

Since the menu changes daily, we won’t go into detail about the dishes, but say generally that they are inventive and wholly distinctive. And, where other restaurants might feature a wine with each dish, Nadim lists the oil he recommends as the perfect drizzle. nadim-b.jpgHis beef tartare for instance had no Worcestershire or eggs in it but lots of herbs. He served a purée of five vegetables (which Belgians call Stoemp) with both his daube and also a Niçois sausage called trulle.

Two kinds of lasagna were on the menu this night, including a special one layered with spinach, bolognaise sauce and a forgotten third layer. Gary particularly enjoyed his rabbit that had been boned and stuffed and sliced on top of pasta. These dishes ranged in price from 15 to 19€, while the entrées were about half that.img_4985.jpg Go to www.oliviera.com to see the selection of olive oils on offer this year and to see the recipe of the week. If you want a particular recipe that you enjoyed at the restaurant, just email Nadim Berouti at nb@oliviera.com and he will gladly send it to you.

2 Responses to “Oliviera”

  1. david langford Says:

    wonderful food,fantstic character,the perfect place to spend time learning about olive oil a excellent food

  2. gloria debbas Says:

    congratulations nadim on your restaurant! I just found out about it! Gloria

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