Oliviera in Nice has been in the hands of one family in love with high quality olive oil for more than 15 years. It is poured generously over the market-fresh ingredients, that received just a subtle eastern touch of Oliviera’s palestinian owners. The jovial Nadim Beyrouti treats the healthy oil like a god. Natural, yet always by olive tinted aromas are celebrated at the tables set in the maze of winding rues in Vieux Nice. Served cold and annualy freshly pressed, the liquid Mediterranean gold from diverse regions shines from its throne nested on the vegetarian starters, the more generous main plates and even on the seasonal dessert!
Provencal colours at Oliviera in Nice
The owner’s know-how can turn the meal there into an olive oil tasting lesson. You will be encouraged to dip your bread into different olive oils from diverse French regions. Each made from distinct olive varieties and different level of maturity. Being enlightened by his insight, it is then easy to select the right oil for your taste and the meal you intend to have it with. High quality olive oil is used raw, so rarely used in cooking, otherwise its aromas and healthful properties would be diminished. Like a superb wine, a great quality olive oil does not need to be flavoured and in its own pure state highlights any meal with which it is served. 
A zeal of an artisan enchanted by pure olive oil awaits you in the humble setting of Oliviera. The Mediterranean bounty embodied in its sun-kissed ingredients is plated on country style dishes with just one rule in place: a generous pour of the godly oil over each course. Not limited to using one olive oil but many from various producers, while the plates are created to highlight the dominant flavours of each oil.
Courgette en Fleur at Oliviera in Nice
I love restaurants, where the owner serves you with a smile, stops by, and happily chats about his cherished ingredients. Here you get all that, while Beyrouti’s wife behind steaming pots and green piles of leafy vegetables prepares casually the meals. It feels as if you were visiting a friend or a family in their own house.
Unlike the nearby Table Alziari and La Merenda, both also very good but very traditional and heavier, at Oliviera the family creates a more contemporary Mediterranean food inspired by the fresh niçoise produce from the nearby Cours Saleya market, and the owner’s Middle-Eastern heritage.
During the summer, when the zucchini blossoms are in a full bloom, one of the signature dishes pops on the menu. The Courgette en Fleur is a raw zucchini flower stuffed with chopped vegetables and an AOC Nice olive oil. This local oil with aromas of sweet almonds, artichokes and hazelnuts pairs also well with pasta and fish dishes cooked there.
Feuillete Cretois Goat cheese fill salad
Feuillete Cretois, a thin filo pastry filled with fresh goat’s cheese and herbs accompanied by a fresh bouquet of lettuce and seasonal vegetables was served with Aglandau olive oil. I was told that Bouteillan oil also pairs well with goat’s cheese, so it can be substituted.
Aubergine Oliviera, another signature dish, is served with a splash of the above mentioned Boutellian olive oil and marinated red peppers in, of course, olive oil. The banana, green grass and birch leafs aromas of the Bouteillan freshen up and add a bit of exciting exoticism to the aubergine caviar (the inside part of the plant that was cooked).
Various plates with pasta, such as the local rabbit (Lapin sur Pâtes) that is paired with the Nice AOC olive oil, are always included for these wanting a bigger meal. A dessert for a sweet dot dipped in the celebrated oil, envelops the degustation perhaps with a surprise for some, but is not to be feared, and with a pinch of adventure fully savoured.
Aubergine Oliviera
A small selection of French, but also Lebanese wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, complements the natural wandering through the bountiful orchards that were harvested under the roof of one eatery.
All the oils are sold on the premises or online at oliviera.com. Since its foundation, Oliviera has been a strong supporter of the local producers and of a slow food service so be patient. Do not expect the owner running around as if he were training for a sprint competition, and savor the flavours. There is only one service for lunch and one for dinner. Do not forget to bring cash, since credit cards are not accepted.
 8 Bis Rue du Collet, Vieux Nice, France
 +33 493 13 06 45
 Tue-Sat: 1oam – 11pm (shop)
Lunch service: 12:30-2:30pm; Dinner 7:30-9:30pm.

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