L’Epicurien Restaurant in Aix-en-Provence

A subtle mix of lowbrow recipes and gourmet creativity, orchestrated by chef Ludovic Aillaud, under his wife Laura’s benevolent gaze.
By Diane Fourlégnie

The chef proposes a popular cuisine, traditional, instinctive but also creative… Now for some history: Bistros, for the sake of economy of time and money, used cheap produce (seasonal produce, offal) and cooked them slowly together with a sauce in order to have the time to serve the dining room. This spawned what the important chefs of the capital baptized “la cuisine canaille,” or vulgar cooking, incarnated by the famous dish of the day. At L’Epicurien you’ll find the menu written on a chalkboard, attentive principally to the quality of the produce, that is fresh and in season. The chef likes “flavor, harmony in the associations and simple dishes;” he is inspired by cookbooks written by chefs and trips to Martinique and Scotland, is concerned with using in the best possible way spices, herbs and sometimes alcohol like whisky…

Ludovic Aillaud’s main goal? Pleasure… He watches his clients carefully and scrutinizes the least sign of their satisfaction, “I particularly want to give pleasure.” The name of the restaurant is no coincidence… So the menu is short but renewed each week; it proposes at lunch a fixed-price menu “of the day” for 28€ with an entrée, a main and a dessert. Today, a Wednesday, there’s a crispy chicken pastilla, delicious veal liver with a parsley and garlic sauce and a wonderful chocolate soup served with a gingerbread ice-cream; you can also choose at both lunch and dinner between one of the menu’s four entrées and one of the three mains, a selection of cheese from Monsieur Savelli, and one of three desserts, and considering the quality of the produce selected, all at very reasonable prices, between 30 and 46 Euros.

You won’t know how to choose between the astounding Vacherin cheese ravioli and its ham and onion broth, the marvelous pollock pie with truffle, between the tender pork fillet with cabbage cooked in beer, or the succulent piece of monkfish served with braised leek and gravy.

Particularly attentive to seasonal fruit, chef Ludovic Aillaud likes desserts, such as the surprising chestnut Saint-Honoré or the classic and delicious lemon meringue tart…

The wine list, composed by the chef and his wife, is polished and maintains very affordable prices. The friendly service is particularly attentive, so feel free to ask advice, as the “client’s pleasure” is the main goal of this authentic spot.

13 Forum des Cardeurs
13100 Aix-en-Provence 
06 89 33 49 83
L’Epicurien Restaurant in Aix-en-Provence
L’Epicurien Restaurant in Aix-en-Provence
Ludovic et Laura Aillaud from the Restaurant l'Epicurien in Aix-en-Provence
Photography : José Nicolas