French Connection

Adjoining concepts AIX and Tin Tin are an ode to chef Nick Leahy’s memories of Provence

It’s safe to say that the process of conceptualizing his adjoining Westside concepts AIX and Tin Tin—a French Provençal restaurant and wine bar—was personal for chef Nick Leahy, who drew inspiration from the formative years he spent growing up in the region. “It holds many of my first food memories, as well as just a lot of fond memories of being together with family, enjoying each other’s company around a table full of food—and wine,” Leahy says. 

Modern elegance meets old-world rusticity at AIX, which borrows elements from its namesake, the French city Aix-en-Provence, in both design and cuisine. The menu is comprised of classic Provençal dishes and flavors, which are lighter and more Mediterranean than Parisian French food—“more lemon and olive oil than cream and butter,” Leahy says—as well as riffs on the chef’s personal memories. His decision to pair chestnuts with the restaurant’s lamb dish, for instance, was inspired by Leahy’s memories of a forager who used to bring chestnuts to his mother in exchange for wine.

Adjoining wine bar Tin Tin also has a personal namesake: Leahy’s great-aunt, matriarch of his French family. While both concepts highlight wines from regions outside of Bordeaux or Burgundy, Tin Tin’s 10-seat, wraparound bar and sprawling enclosed and outdoor patios lend themselves to more relaxed occasions—enjoying happy hour cocktails or predinner wine and shared plates. “I think it affords our guests the chance to have different experiences each time,” notes Leahy. “I think they complement each other perfectly.”;