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Paul Reynard

Week in Cote d'Azur

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Hello.

Off to Beaulieu Sur Mer (in between Nice and Monaco) in early September for a week. Food is one of the main reasons for me visiting (not so for the wife...) so want to make sure I spend wisely.

Firstly Louis XV is a must for me. First of all I don't know whether to go for 2 lunches so that we can eat off the lunch menu on both occassions (if this is still going) or whether to just go for one evening on a blow out. Main stumbling block on this decision is how comparable the lunch menu is to the a la carte and whether a lunch there in September is bearable with the heat.

Other places I'm thinking of are:

The Chevre in Eze - is this worth it and if so for lunch or dinner?

La Reserve de Beaulieu - not mentioned on gullet much but has ** and the website has quite a tempting limited menu in the evening for a very reasonable €95 for 4 courses with most items coming off the carte (although not sure if this is available to non residents?). Again any recent reports welcome.

I understand there's another couple of places in Menton - what are these like and again worth it or not?

The plan is for 2 nice lunches and 2 nice evening meals made from the above with the rest of the eating taking place at Les Agaves in Beaulieu which I believe to be as good as ever (visited the area once 5 years ago when I was a bot less food obsessed!!). However while that is the plan I'm more than interested in finding more casual places to eat especially as the ingredients are so good so any stunning 'bistro' options are most welcome.

Any advice welcome especially re Louis XV. BTW do the hautey places turn their noses up too much at very rusty French speakers?

Cheers.

Paul.

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I would add the Nice bistro La Merenda to your list. You won’t find any better interpretation of Nicoise dishes than's Dominique Le Stanc’s pasta with pistou, stuffed sardines, tripe à la Niçoise, daube of beef, or tourte de blettes. There’s no phone (or credit cards, or seats with backs) so you’ll need to call in to make a reservation. The address is 4 rue Raoul Bosio.

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Hello.

      Off to Beaulieu Sur Mer (in between Nice and Monaco) in early September for a week.  Food is one of the main reasons for me visiting (not so for the wife...) so want to make sure I spend wisely. 

Firstly Louis XV is a must for me.  First of all I don't know whether to go for 2 lunches so that we can eat off the lunch menu on both occassions (if this is still going) or whether to just go for one evening on a blow out.  Main stumbling block on this decision is how comparable the lunch menu is to the a la carte and whether a lunch there in September is bearable with the heat.

Other places I'm thinking of are:

The Chevre in Eze - is this worth it and if so for lunch or dinner?

La Reserve de Beaulieu - not mentioned on gullet much but has ** and the website has quite a tempting limited menu in the evening for a very reasonable €95 for 4 courses with most items coming off the carte (although not sure if this is available to non residents?). Again any recent reports welcome.

I understand there's another couple of places in Menton - what are these like and again worth it or not?

The plan is for 2 nice lunches and 2 nice evening meals made from the above with the rest of the eating taking place at Les Agaves in Beaulieu which I believe to be as good as ever (visited the area once 5 years ago when I was a bot less food obsessed!!).  However while that is the plan I'm more than interested in finding more casual places to eat especially as the ingredients are so good so any stunning 'bistro' options are most welcome.

Any advice welcome especially re Louis XV. BTW do the hautey places turn their noses up too much at very rusty French speakers?

Cheers.

Paul.

First, I would highly recommend Louis XV: I just returned from three meals there last weekend. Lunch, Dinner, Lunch. I also ate there 7 times last May as well. The restaurant is superb. I wouldn't worry about the heat. The main dining room is well air conditioned or you can eat on the terrace. My first meal was on the terrace. The last two in the dining room. They serve the lunch menu all year: a choice of two appetizers, two entrees, cheese, and desert from the restaurant desert list and a half bottle of wine per person is included; I believe the coast was 140 Euros. The a la carte menu (found on line) is the same for lunch and dinner. There is also a tasting menu and a vegetarian based menu. Also, everybody in Louis XV speaks English. One caveat, my last meal at Louis XV was my 100th in a ducasse 3 star restaurant.

There is no better spot for a fantastic lunch that at Chevre D'or in Eze.

Restaurant Mirazur in Menton is a must go for anybody who enjoys food and is traveling to the area. The chef is young, amazingly well trained (arpege, ducasse, bernard loisieu, and guy martin), the service wonderful, food terrific, and the location overlooking the Med, great.

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Hello.

      Off to Beaulieu Sur Mer (in between Nice and Monaco) in early September for a week.  Food is one of the main reasons for me visiting (not so for the wife...) so want to make sure I spend wisely. 

Firstly Louis XV is a must for me.  First of all I don't know whether to go for 2 lunches so that we can eat off the lunch menu on both occassions (if this is still going) or whether to just go for one evening on a blow out.  Main stumbling block on this decision is how comparable the lunch menu is to the a la carte and whether a lunch there in September is bearable with the heat.

Other places I'm thinking of are:

The Chevre in Eze - is this worth it and if so for lunch or dinner?

La Reserve de Beaulieu - not mentioned on gullet much but has ** and the website has quite a tempting limited menu in the evening for a very reasonable €95 for 4 courses with most items coming off the carte (although not sure if this is available to non residents?). Again any recent reports welcome.

I understand there's another couple of places in Menton - what are these like and again worth it or not?

The plan is for 2 nice lunches and 2 nice evening meals made from the above with the rest of the eating taking place at Les Agaves in Beaulieu which I believe to be as good as ever (visited the area once 5 years ago when I was a bot less food obsessed!!).  However while that is the plan I'm more than interested in finding more casual places to eat especially as the ingredients are so good so any stunning 'bistro' options are most welcome.

Any advice welcome especially re Louis XV. BTW do the hautey places turn their noses up too much at very rusty French speakers?

Cheers.

Paul.

Going from East to West:

Mirazur on the Italian border above Menton is a must. From Beaulieu it is a bit far to drive back in the evening, at least for us. Lunch might be better.

L'Hostellerie Jérôme in La Turbie is very good. La Chevre d'Or is a pretentious, overpriced tourist trap.

La Reserve de Beaulieu has excellent cuisine. In September reserve for a table on the edge of the terrace. But it is a fancy hotel. If you like the ambience at the Louis XV, you'll like it there.

Les Agaves in Beaulieu is ok. It is not open for lunch now. The new thing in Beaulieu is Les Vents d'Anges, just opened by Christian who used to run Le Catalan. He was at Les Santons in La Turbie and has returned to Beaulieu. The pizzas are great and the Catalan Mixed Grill is sensational, but you might need a certificate from your cardiologist to have it.

In Nice I am recommending Millésime 82, which opened three months ago.

I don't think that hautey places turn their noses up too much at very rusty French speakers, but if you are not coping, they will speak English to you. They do turn their noses up if you dress badly, speak loudly, complain unduly etc. Less hauty places will tolerate your French if you speak softly, smile etc.

Have a good time.


Michael

www.epicures.wordpress.com

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Le Chantecler in Nice (at the Negresco Hotel) is also worth considering. Had a faboulous lunch there not too long ago.

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In Nice there are two new great restaurants- Flaveur and Luc Salsedo. Luc is a wonderful up and coming chef. The dining room is run by his wife who is lovely and personable. This restaurant only uses fresh local ingredients (many from their own gardens), is reasonably priced, and is a great find in Nice. Make a reservation at least a week in advance. Then you can thank me later :-)

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Le Clos St. Pierre in Le Rouret, in the hills about 25 minutes above Antibes, is among the best one stars I have ever found (and I mean EVER, over the last 25 years). I have eaten there 3 times in the last year and a half, and each time it has been outstanding. The formula is with a prix fix menu each night, with your only choice the opportunity to eliminate one plate for a very modest reduction. The price a month ago was 58 Euros for 3 plates, cheese, and dessert. Everything was done perfectly, and the service is very good.

The chef came out at the end of the meal and even denied that he had a star; this was in the context of our conversation, in French, where I told him that I detest the great majority of starred restaurants I've ever eaten in and that his was a huge exception, so much so that I'd eaten in the place 3 times in 1.5 years even though I live in the USA and seldom get down to the Cote d'Azur. He (the chef) said, "I have no stars; the only stars in my restaurant are the clients." He was so convincing that my French friend asked me on the way out to the car why I had told him the place had a star, when obviously it did not!!

This place is not to be missed, however you will need to reserve as they have been completely full each time I've eaten there, including midweek.

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We really liked Mirazur when we ate there a year agp, Subsequently, our friends who went with us and live in Villefrance sur Mer have eaten there several times, the latest last week, and say it has become formalistic, overly relying on foam and colorful flowers and less on taste.

However, they reported a fantastic meak at Paris/Rome in Menton. The chef there is considered one of the next rising stars.

We also enjoyed a marvelous lunch at Lou Fassum, a one star, outside of Grasse. I posted photos and a description of the lunch in another thread earlier this year. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...21247&hl=fassum

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Le Clos St. Pierre in Le Rouret, in the hills about 25 minutes above Antibes, is among the best one stars I have ever found (and I mean EVER, over the last 25 years).  I have eaten there 3 times in the last year and a half, and each time it has been outstanding.  The formula is with a prix fix menu each night, with your only choice the opportunity to eliminate one plate for a very modest reduction.  The price a month ago was 58 Euros for 3 plates, cheese, and dessert.  Everything was done perfectly, and the service is very good.

The chef came out at the end of the meal and even denied that he had a star; this was in the context of our conversation, in French, where I told him that I detest the great majority of starred restaurants I've ever eaten in and that his was a huge exception, so much so that I'd eaten in the place 3 times in 1.5 years even though I live in the USA and seldom get down to the Cote d'Azur.  He (the chef) said, "I have no stars; the only stars in my restaurant are the clients." He was so convincing that my French friend asked me on the way out to the car why I had told him the place had a star, when obviously it did not!!

This place is not to be missed, however you will need to reserve as they have been completely full each time I've eaten there, including midweek.

I completely agree. Last summer we tried most of the 1* in this area and there was nothing to touch Le Clos st Pierre. We dined there twice and would have gone a third time if they'd had a free table

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Thanks all for your replies. I have so far booked Louis XV for Saturday lunch (when I think they do their bargain lunch menu - is this correct??), Mirazur for lunch (sensational value form what I can see) and La Reserve for our final night.

Has anyone got any advice on the following which I've also come across on my readings... (mainily on the great 'Wandering epicures' blog):

La Table du Cap

Le Mayssa (Villefranche)

Voile d'Or

Cheers again.

Paul.

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Thanks all for your replies.  I have so far booked Louis XV for Saturday lunch (when I think they do their bargain lunch menu - is this correct??), Mirazur for lunch (sensational value form what I can see) and La Reserve for our final night.

Has anyone got any advice on the following which I've also come across on my readings... (mainily on the great 'Wandering epicures' blog):

La Table du Cap

Le Mayssa (Villefranche)

Voile d'Or

Cheers again.

Paul.

Paul,

La Table du Cap is closed, unfortunately. Laurent Poulet is looking for a new location, but has not yet found one.

Le Mayssa has an interesting setting and is okay.

We have had a lovely dinner out on the lawn of La Voile d'Or. It is a luxury hotel, but without the glitz of La Réserve.


Michael

www.epicures.wordpress.com

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Thanks all for your replies. I have so far booked Louis XV for Saturday lunch (when I think they do their bargain lunch menu - is this correct??), Mirazur for lunch (sensational value form what I can see) and La Reserve for our final night.

Mirazur is a sensational restaurant. The chef is amazingly well trained, the staff is excellent (the restaurant manager speaks English like a native if that is a concern) and the view great. Louis XV offers the lunch menu everyday. It consists of two choices of appetizer, two for the main, cheese, and a choice from the regular desert menu as well as all the usuall extras that makes eating there so much fun. The menu also includes a 1/2 bottle of wine per person. You have two selections of either white or red wine. The wines are usually from the Provence region.

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we are in nice every year visiting our son and his family and we have never eaten at la merenda. our reason is--the chairs have no backs. they are just stools. i can't see sitting, eating and enjoying a meal with no back support. does anyone have a comment about this quirk of mine

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well, we have been going to nice for the last 9 years and still can't do la merenda. maybe we will try it on our next visit. but i will tell you our nicoise relatives think that its reputation is overblown. we have gone to a wonderful for eating and comfortable for sitting restaurant in fallicon,which is north of the city. it is not too well known outside of the native folks but well worth the visit. also,there are a few morevery good places but at present i can't remember their names, but all are native favorites...

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Off to the Beaulieu Sur Mer again for the annual holiday at the beginning of September and wondered if there were any significant updates on the above?

Any advise much appreciated.

Paul.

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We were there earlier in the summer and the highlight in Beaulieu was Le 35, which I believe is relatively new. We really enjoyed the food and service there. We also ate at Le Panorama in the Royal Riviera Hotel, we enjoyed it very much, but found it to be a little too expensive for what we got. Still, it's always nice to sit outside overlooking the pool and sea.

We weren't dining at the Michelin-starred level much on that leg of the trip, so I can't comment on the high end. In fact, our one starred experience in the area was at l'Univers par Christian Plumail in Nice (we arrived in Nice without a booking anywhere, and couldn't get in anywhere we wanted to). I found dinner at that restaurant to be quite a strange experience. Food wasn't up to my much, combinations of ingredients were odd without being enlightening, service wasn't up to much, room wasn't up to much. I didn't find it actively unpleasant, but I couldn't really say I'd recommend it.

FWIW, worst meal of the trip was in The African Queen down by the marina. It was one of the busiest along the strip of restaurants there so it seemed a reasonable choice. Service was appalling, just dire, and the food was not good at all. There seemed to be a regular clientele there so maybe we just had a bad night. Still, there's no way I'd go back. Ever.

Enjoy the trip.

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Yes, Mirazur is a must. We were there in September and we had a superb meal. The restaurant itself is a beautiful house on the French Riviera with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. Here are some highlights from our meal:

To kick off the menu, a creative and colourful selection of amuse bouche! Clam served on half shell with a touch of aubergine cream, followed by crunchy vegetable salsa on ink cracker served on a stone. A transformation of Jerusalem artichoke - fried its skin and mashed its flesh. The best item of the amusement was deep fried langoustine balls that exploded in our mouths, bursting with the warm flavour of intense crustaceans! This series of amuse bouche was one of the best – a wide range of flavours and textures!

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The first course was a thin pear jelly blanketing an oyster wrapped in a pear carpaccio accompanied by a poached pear ball. It was an experience popping the whole thing at once - the thin slice of crunchy, sweet, juicy pear followed by the silky moist oyster and a further lift by the shallot cream. It's food from heaven!

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Chef Colagreco is certainly on top of his game. One of the main courses became my all-time favourite! Not only did the combination of courgette, baby squash, and sea snails provide a wonderful mouth-feel, but the broth actually played the essential role. It was intense by itself but did an amazing job to match the strong texture of the dish, and the best part was the smoky charcoal finish!

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Both desserts were exceptional too. Green tomato and green apple sorbet - sounds like an odd combo but the fruity green apple sorbet, the brittle sugar casing, the creamy yogurt, and finally the chilled refreshing soup did an outstanding job tying them all together.

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Then a combination of orange flower brioche, orange sorbet, and sweet orange saffron cream. I took the brioche and soaked it up with as much orange cream as I could, and WOW! These sweet-fruity creams together with the fragrant brioche was very addictive! And the almond worked well by bringing a textural contrast to the spongy brioche while leaving behind a lingering aftertaste. If I was at home by myself, I would have picked up the plate and licked up the last remaining bit of cream! It was that good!

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As I was departing from the dining room, I realised there were many restaurants in my life that I wanted to go back to. However, this was the first time that I actually didn't want to leave at all! I strongly recommend a visit to Mirazur!

CLICK HERE FOR FULL MEAL!


Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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