La Vague d’Or

An homage to Jean-Louis Nomicos, the chef who created this dish. Zitone pasta with foie gras and truffles, violet artichokes and basil.

36 year old Arnaud Donckele is one of the youngest chefs to receive three Michelin stars.(at 35) After making a few stops at France’s best restaurants like Michel Guérard’s, Louis XV and Lasserre, the Normandy native has finally settled down at Résidence de La Pinède in Saint Tropez. The classic and serene hotel is antithesis to the general mood of this legendary holiday spot, where champagne is sprayed as often as it is drunk.

Tomato and mozzarella with Australian black truffles. ( much more flavorful than black summer truffles)
Tomato and mozzarella with Australian black truffles. ( much more flavorful than black French summer truffles)

Somehow Arnaud’s cooking corresponds to the classic and classy environment it is served. The chef is a strong follower of the grand French cuisine school and you can feel that everywhere, starting from the opulent plates,”two service” dishes, finishing with trou normand, a tradition slowly disappearing from the modern gastronomic restaurants repertoire.

Arnaud Donckele cooking is all about celebrating France and the region the restaurant is located. Maybe it’s not exactly revolutionary or cutting edge as some Scandinavian style restaurants might it, but it is immensely enjoyable and I think this is what is eating should be all about.

Langoustines with origan in two services ( the second service was langoutine ravioli in tomato stock)
Langoustines with origan in two services ( the second service was langoustine ravioli in tomato stock)
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Yellowtail,crab,marinated with Berlugane mandarine,thym leaves and vegetables
Yellowtail,crab,marinated with Berlugane mandarines,thym leaves and vegetables
Bread
Bread
An homage to Jean-Louis Nomicos, the chef who created this dish. Zitone pasta with foie gras and truffles, violet artichokes and basil.
An homage to Jean-Louis Nomicos, the chef who created stuffed macaroni. Zitone pasta with foie gras and truffles, violet artichokes and basil.
Thym,lemon and fennel ice cream with a splash of absinthe
Trou normand à la Vague d’or. Lemon, fennel and thym ice cream with a splash of absinthe
John Dory wit Tarbouriech oysters,seaweed gnocchi,cockles and lemon balm
John Dory wit Tarbouriech oysters,seaweed gnocchi,cockles and lemon balm
Grand presentation
Grand presentation
Arnaud Donckele with one of the waiters. ( Very passionate about her job by the way. Too bad I forgot to ask her name..)
Arnaud Donckele with one of the main waiters. (Very passionate about her job by the way. Too bad I didn’t ask this lady’s name)
Wild strawberries dessert
Strawberries from Var with basil and bergamot orange
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View comments (1)
  • Almas

    Isn’t it refreshing with such a natural setting compared to the sometimes overly sterile environment of (city) restaurants? Getting pine on one’s plate is a small price to pay, although it must get a bit annoying for the staff to keep the tables clean, at times.

    Certainly the chef has managed to capture the soul of the Mediterranean quite nicely, especially with the saucing and of course the seafood. Easy to spot the common thread, I would say.

    Also, it is lovely to see more restaurants serving Australian winter truffle, which I definitely concur is much superior to Burgundy truffle.

    Agreed about the waitress, always pleasant with people who actually care about their craft. Unfortunately, her name slips my mind.