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Nice in early October


hazardnc
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I will be in Nice for 2 nights in early October, and am especially interested in shellfish while there. Any suggestions for restaurants that might have this on the menu or will it not be in season?

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hazardnc, now and next month is the best time for shellfish, but even so, it is really hard to score it in Nice, at least for me. Cafe de Turin has hit the skids badly, and to tell you the truth, I don't go to the Negresco anymore. That place may be your best bet in Nice. Hostellerie Jerome does a good job with shrimps of San Remo, which I believe are available much or all of the time. This restaurant is in La Turbie, about a 25 minute drive from downtown Nice. White fish such as dorade, loup de mer, and pageot end up best around Nice, say La Mere Germaine in Villefranche. Rouget as well. Nice just isn't as satisfying as Italy. I always tell people to hop across the border to Balzi Rossi just a stone's throw from the old border crossing on the sea at the Menton Veni8tmiglia line. Even better for fish, but about a 75-minute drive from Nice is La Conchiglia in Arma di Taggia, the next town after San Remo. If I get good fish at a few new place I want to try this month, I'll let you know.

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I respectfully yield to Mr. Brown's expertise regarding dining options on the Cote d'Azure, but my wife and I did have a wonderful experience at Chez Pistol, 7 Place Garibaldi, on the edge of the old town. Outdoor seating under the arcade, and bins full of iced shellfish which, when we ate there, were impeccably fresh. Your October date is rewarding in that, on a repeat visit to Nice we were told that sea urchin and violet* (sp?) -- you have to try these odd sea creatures, I once watched an entire French sex farce where all was blamed on their power -- were out of season and would not be available again until Autumn.

I believe there is competing shellfish restaurant next door, so you can look them both over and select whichever one best strikes your fancy.

*From a post about my visit:

"Finally, we had something called a “violet.” The waiter maintained that it was a “sea potato” and that it is not an animal. It looks like the base, or root, of one of those odd sponge-like things that grows on the sea floor, about the size of a woman’s fist and the color of something that’s washed in with the tide. It arrives sliced in half, the grey/green skin concealing an off-white, cartaliginous interior which in turn shelters a molten center the color and consistency of egg yolks whipped with a bit of cream. This, you spoon into your mouth, so that you can taste something like seawater boiled down into a demi-glace and chilled. Even oysters that taste like the sea also taste like oysters. These guys didn’t taste like anything I’d ever had, briny, gooey, very vaguely fishy -- like a flavor intensifier that you’d add to another dish, almost too strong to eat by itself. It singlehandedly reduced my wife, myself and the six Japanese at the next table (who had also bought a round of tviolets) to perplexed concentration. Obviously, a return trip to Nice and further investigation is in order. "
Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Thanks for the tips. I have never tried sea urchin - Charlotte is not exactly a hot spot for ultra fresh seafood. Hopefully, one of these spots will have it on the menu.

I guess I should start another thread for this, but we will spend a week in the Luberon after Nice. We will start in Saignon and then we will be in a rental near Gordes. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated

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  • 1 month later...

Having just come back from Nice, I was reminded of one restaurant that if you have good dining luck can be the best seafood around: Bacon in Cap d'Antibes, Note,however, that it is expensive and a haunt of well-to-do foreigners. You have to be alert, ask the right questions, and not be intimidated as the servers can be somewhat arrogant at times. I have had some of my better fish meals there, however. Also they don't offer every type of fish or crustacean on the menu that they have, as exemplified by the time we were able to order a cigale de mer.

Le Bistro des Viviers (or Les Viviers) in the center of Nice is likely the best seafood restaurant in town. We returned there after a lull and found it to be more memorable than before. The chef is a veteran, trained even by the great Alain Chapel in the early 1980s. The fish soup is our favorite one in the area. The selection is copious and rather reasonably priced. Ask, though if the fish you want is farm or wild as I suspect two dorades we ordered were the former. Our dessert of an authentic old-time chocolate souffle was a really good one. Restaurants like this are falling by the wayside.

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