La Belle Étoile, Tamara and Manuel Dupont’s restaurant in Villefranche-sur-Mer, is a delicious journey through time and Provençal terroir with tasty bistronomic and locavore cuisine on the menu.
La Belle Étoile is a restaurant nestled in the historic center of Villefranche-sur-Mer. Alongside the famous Citadel from the XVI century, just steps away from the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, this superb gastronomic address is at the image of Tamara and Manuel Dupont, a young couple passionate about gastronomy and Art de Vivre. Out of a Peynet’s lovers drawing, they invite you in their house of happiness to live a beautiful gastronomic experience in which tradition and modernity combine the pleasure of the senses with the warmth of the welcome.
A passionate and complementary couple
At the restaurant La Belle Étoile, Tamara makes the room shine with her dynamism and good humor while at the “piano”, her maestro husband Manuel plays the score of creativity, poetry and gourmandise that dispaly day after day in the creation of his beautiful dishes with flavors from here and elsewhere. Passion for the terroir, homemade cuisine, respect for beautiful products and traditions are part of the values advocated by this couple, always in search of excellence and gastronomic authenticity.
Romanticism and nostalgia of yesteryear
The restaurant La Belle Étoile is discovered at a corner of the quiet and paved narrow streets of old Villefranche-sur-Mer. La Belle Etoile attracts the eye with its welcoming terrace, imprinted with the sweetness of the Old City. The picturesque and elegant cachet of its interior decoration is charming the gourmands having pushed the door of the establishment. Here, time seems to have stopped. In a soft and serene atmosphere, the charm of the old stones and its cozy atmosphere comes from the touches of the natural wood and the red of the roses on the tables.
A Marshall music player broadcasts jazzy, light music. The whitewashed stone walls, the large porcelain plates delicately placed on beautifully tables with tablecloths, the crystal-clear glass, the designer chandelier and the lights bring pretty romantic notes tinged with the nostalgia of yesteryear. The old wooden beams and the cob ceiling are the living witnesses of a place steeped in history, dating back more than six hundred years.
A lively, creative and spontaneous bistro cuisine
Behind the stove, Chef Manuel Dupont makes his pots and pans sing with the sound of Provençal terroir to create a generous and tasty gastronomy. His lively, creative, spontaneous (and gluten-free) bistro cuisine is made from fresh market produce, gleaned in the morning from the stalls of small regional producers including the catch of the day from local fishing.
Manuel draws inspiration from Mediterranean cuisine, combining contemporary and inventive flavors such as roast organic Piglet from Grasse, Pélamide from Villefranche, Velouté with Lemon from Grasse or the chef’s signature dish for vegetarians: Risotto with Beets, Goat Cheese and Almonds. His magnificent work on textures from land and sea, his perfect cooking, his fair seasonings, his elegant dressings and his particular attention for sometimes forgotten seasonal products like the beet or the cabbage are with each bite an ode to the “savoir manger” from ancient times.
The traditional reinterpreted recipes that Manuel Dupont puts on the menu of La Belle Etoile have names reminiscent of our grandmothers’ cuisine like the Coq au Vin, a simple dish that Manuel is particularly fond of. The chef also shares the aroma of his loves and passions with the particular resonance of the perfumes of his childhood and the beautiful English houses that marked his career, all sprinkled with a hint of his native soil, Normandy, that he loves so much.
Here, the cuisine is entirely homemade, locavore and gluten free. The menu, renewed every day, unwinds the chef’s desires and inspirations according to the market and the seasonal products at a very affordable price, like the formula at lunch: starter and main or dish and dessert at 20 euros or starter, main and dessert at 25 euros. A menu at 31 euros including three courses is available at dinner.
Wines from independent producers
With thirty seats in the dining room and twenty on the terrace at sunny days, and their deliberately short menu – 4 starters, 4 mains, 4 desserts – Tamara and Manuel favor the freshness of the products from small producers at La Belle Etoile. Vegetables and fruits come from Cagnes sur Mer, the fish from Louis Roux, fisherman in Villefranche, the organic pig from Grasse (Cochon de la Côte d’Azur) and the leavened bread from Hugo‘s in Nice.
It’s the same for wines: the chef favors labels from the Provençal terroir such as Bellet wines (Clos Saint Vincent) or those from Château Roubine (cuvée Lion et Dragon), in red, rosé and white, a nice food and wine pairing for white meats, lamb or Mediterranean red mullet or La Vie en Rose, a fresh and sparkling rosé wine that matches fish dishes. La Belle Etoile also displays some Burgundy classics such as the 2011 red wine Domaine Ernest Meurgey-Perron or white Chablis Domaine de Perdrycourt 2011.
A Normand in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Normand of origin, Manuel Dupont comes from a family where eating well is an institution. BTS in hand, Manuel Dupont made his debut in beautiful starred addresses like La Bourride in Caen, (two Michelin stars), then at Marc Veyrat‘s La Maison des Bois in Haute-Savoie (three stars). He then went to Corsica at Hotel les Chalets in Asco and Le Lido in Propriano (1 star), an establishment run by Marc Veyrat’s sister-in-law. His desire to travel led him to perfect his talents in London, where he spent two years with Tom Aikens, two years at Anglus, and two years at Le Coq d’Argent in the City where 25 cooks in the kitchen cooked every day for 600 persons. After returning to France, he worked in the kitchens of Le Palais de la Méditerranée and finally in those of Le Terroir Divin in Nice. In April 2017, he decided to open with his wife Tamara his first restaurant, La Belle Etoile in Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Bolognaise of Octopuss from Villefranche, Gnocchi
Country style Terrine with organic Pig, Pickles
Liche from Villefranche, Lemon Velouté
Veal Osso Bucco, Gremolata
Beet Risotto, Goat Cheese and Almonds
Eclair stuffed with Hazelnut, poached Pear
Frozen Clementine, Grapefruit, Cake
Coffee – Mignardise (Mini Lemon Tart)
Restaurant La Belle Etoile
1, rue Baron de Brès
Tél: +33 (0)4 97 08 09 41
La Belle Etoile in Villefranche in pictures
Click on pictures to enlarge – ©YesICannes.com – All rights reserved