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Restaurants In Nice - Anything Nice?


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My whife who spent many a TV market in Cannes for the Jim Henson Company entertained at Colombe d'Or in Saint Paul de Vance. Not being a total foodie she can't help on that front but said the setting and restaurant are stunning and hangs amazing artwork by such artists as Matise.

bakerestates

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I love the Colombe D'Or. Instead of Birthday presents, we each get to choose a special place to stay. I made that choice three times.

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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  • 2 weeks later...

Liked the article in today's New York Times by Mark Bittman. Good one for all those visiting Nice this summer.

Be interesting to see if the restaurants mentioned now become very difficult to get into.

I remember, this was years ago, going to a restaurant in central Nice which was in a converted art deco movie theatre. We had a wonerful meal & at the end of it the curtains hiding the original movie screen parted to reveal a glass wall behind which was the kitchen with all of the staff lined up to take a bow. They got a standing ovation.

Being old, however, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant.

Can anybody help? If so, does the place still exist?

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Liked the article in today's New York Times by Mark Bittman. Good one for all those visiting Nice this summer.

Be interesting to see if the restaurants mentioned now become very difficult to get into.

I remember, this was years ago, going to a restaurant in central Nice which was in a converted art deco movie theatre. We had a wonerful meal & at the end of it the curtains hiding the original movie screen parted to reveal a glass wall behind which was the kitchen with all of the staff lined up to take a bow. They got a standing ovation.

Being old, however, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant.

Can anybody help? If so, does the place still exist?

I haven't had the time or masochistic patience to compile a Compendium on the Core d'Azur/Nice, I think there are 18 pages worth of titles containing those words; but do a search and you may find it.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I haven't seen the article, as I don't get that section until Sunday morning...

The problem with these Nice restaurant lists is that they are rarely fresh nor interesting. La Merenda is probably on the list, it is a nice place, but probably doesn't deserve the major kudos it usually receives; and the touristy cafes along the Cours Saleya are usually among the other "usual suspects" on these lists.

My favorites in Nice are the rarely mentioned L'Univers, Christian Plumail's wonderful Provencal restaurant, Les Viviers, with the absolute best seafood in the Nice metro area, and La Petite Maison, a former local secret but is lately slowly getting some mention on these lists.

I'll have to read the article tomorrow, though...

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I think that has to be Brasserie Flo click here.

Had lunch there two years back. It was fine but there's a lot more to Nice.

Best wishes,

Mick

Thank you! that was it. I've looked at my diaries now & it was January, 1991 when I went there. It was a dinner for our Managing Director from around Europe & the special menu had been arranged by our French head of HR who loved to dine well. We'd had a good year so... Memorable.

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It is an extrodinary coincidence that there has recently been so much interest in Nice, as I have just been tasked by the girlfriend to "ask my friends on egullet" about restaurant recommendations. I have, of course, read through the existing threads. However, my question is quite a specific one: where can a group of 11 english girls go for dinner in nice? The kinds of places they like in London are Salt Yard, Yauatcha, Fino; in other words, trendy places that aren't astronomically expensive. I suspect that Nice might not have a surfeit of this kind of restaurant, but I promised I'd ask....

I should probably say that it is for a hen night, but before you all recommend your most hated places for fear of destroying an otherwise pleasant restaurant with a group of drunken yobbettes, I should clarify that it will not be the kind of hen-night involving penis earings and male strippers (or so my girlfriend tells me...). The ladies in question are a (relatively) sophisticated bunch.

I thought la Petite Maison might fit the bill; otherwise I suppose there's always brasserie flo. Any imput would be enormously appreciated.

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I suspect that Nice might not have a surfeit of this kind of restaurant, but I promised I'd ask....

Well as a male Yank, I don't think I'm the best one to be helpful here, but Margaret Kemp has an article (on Jouni Tormanen coming to be Ducasse's young talent this month) in this weekend's Bonjour Paris, that also mentions several other restaurants in Nice that I think fit your bill (I know you gotta subscribe but it's worth it {disclosure: I write essays for BP on food-related issues}).

She likes Jouni L’Atelier du Gout, Luc Salsedo, Parcours – Jean-Marc Delacourt, The Louis XV + La Meranda.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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In 1991, the Brasserie Flo space was the restaurant of Jacques Maximin, who at the time was one of the most talked about chefs in France.

Many thanks. I think that bethesdabakers had the place right, but you have the chef right.

I appreciate the effort from both of you to help my failing memory.

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I suspected that the restaurant was there before Brasserie Flo inherited. But I ate there in 2004 and my previous time in in Nice was c1968 sleeping on the beach.

I was working on a building site in the UK and not short of readies but I had my wallet, passport, etc. stolen on the first night and my only memories of "restaurants" was a kitchen where nuns served a dodgy sort of stew to the homeless, and more interestingly, a working man's restaurant which I was told was subsidised by the town. Very good basic food at basic prices. Bet that doesn't exist anymore.

Mick

Mick Hartley

The PArtisan Baker

bethesdabakers

"I can give you more pep than that store bought yeast" - Evolution Mama (don't you make a monkey out of me)

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I was so pissed to see this article: I'd been hoping to jump-start my lame little freelance career with, among other things, a piece about eating in Nice, after I spent a week there this summer. I'm gonna get this Bittman guy!

Looks like some useful information, though, centered on the kinds of places our low-budget/high euro family will be seeking out, so maybe my wounded ego can handle it, after all.

On question for the PACA veterans among us: what are dining hours in Nice? I assume everything will be packed in late July, especially if they've been freatured in the NYT, but we are just as happy to eat relatively early (and head up for the jazz) or relatively late (jet lag and all). What's a good window of opportunity after the crowds are thinning but before the waiters start stacking chairs on the tables?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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In Nice, usually you need to begin dining between 8-9:30, some places a bit later. The TT's on the Cours Saleya might go until 11. YOu can probably miss the crowds after 10, but they are pretty ordinary, IMHO.

As far as being crowded because of the NYTmes, do not worry, the business generated from such an article is slow and spread out. A write up in Nice Matin or a listing in the Gantié would pull in many more customers. Bon séjour!!

Edited by menton1 (log)
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I would second L'Univers, and add another reasonably priced one-star on the old port, L' Âne Rouge.

I was googling around looking for info on "Cuisine Nissarde" -- the traditional cooking of Nice -- and l'Ane Rouge caught my eye for the rather pedestrian reason that I'd picked up the word "ane" in a recent French lesson: bonnet d'ane -- donkey's hat or, cooloqhially, dunce cap.

Anyway nice website here, and, to the extent that the Cusine Nissarde movement survives as anything beyond an old website and a perhaps not wildly successful tourism driver, one might expect an "authentic" meal, as well as a good one, there.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I was googling around looking for info on "Cuisine Nissarde" -- the traditional cooking of Nice -- and l'Ane Rouge caught my eye for the rather pedestrian reason that I'd picked up the word "ane" in a recent French lesson: bonnet d'ane -- donkey's hat or, cooloqhially, dunce cap.

Anyway nice website here, and, to the extent that the Cusine Nissarde movement survives as anything beyond an old website and a perhaps not wildly successful tourism driver, one might expect an "authentic" meal, as well as a good one, there.

Yes, I've seen those decals in the windows of many restos in Nice; however, it's probably just a paid membership, pay the fees and get the listing. No quality control. Le Safari isn't much more than a tourist trap with a nice ambience at the end of the Cours with forgettable food; I did love Simon, however, a beautiful place with terrific food in the hills of Rimiez-- I believe you can find it on the "Rendez-vous des Amis" thread in the compendium that John T has assembled. Link

Not easy to find, but worth looking for!

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Les Viviers, with the absolute best seafood in the Nice metro area

Have yo actually been? I would say it is NOT the best seafood restaurant in the Nice metro area.

I was very pleased with Les Viviers, especially the less expensive bistro side which I was led to believe shares the same kitchen as the restaurant next door. I would be pleased to try the better recommendations of Degusto who seems to know the better seafood restaurants in Nice.

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  • 3 months later...

For as long as I’ve known it intimately, which is close to ten years, the Nice and Cote d’Azur restaurant scene has always been mixed. This past May and June, however, gave me better than usual returns as I set my foot in all range of restaurants. In brief, here are my reactions to several I visited:

Aux Rendez-Vous des Amis. In pastoral surroundings just a few kilometers north from the built-up part of Nice, this highly-popular restaurant may provide the most rewarding visit for the holders of stressed-out dollars. Inside, the Rendez-Vous is much like a bar-café, while in season, the charm-laden terrace is a joy. Here you can chose an entrée, main course and dessert from all the offerings for 22 euros. Artichoke terrine, fricassee of chicken and pork ribs were highlights of the meal we had with another couple. We were spared one of those “one server serves all” experiences with the result that service was efficient and friendly from our two waiters. This restaurant is all you would want and expect for an inexpensive one. It’s very popular with the locals, and therefore requires an advance reservation.

La Petite Alsace. French friends berated me for liking a restaurant on the Cote d’Azur the serves choucroute, but to judge La Petite Alsace on that basis is to miss the point. Because it’s a duck out of water (though why should it be in a city full of ethnic restaurants?), it gets overlooked and often is nearly empty. Yet anyone who wants succulent, classic cuisine that will remind you of how bistro food used to taste, this is where to go. The choice of dishes is large and includes non-Alsatian classics such as escalope de veau a la crème, herring and potato salad, and veal Cordon Bleu. On my last visit, I ordered for the first time Tourte de la Vallee du Munster, which is sautéed pieces of pork and a cream sauce inside a dome-shaped puff pastry that is surrounded by the cheese and egg mixture one finds in a cheese soufflé. It may be the best dish owner-chef Philippe Humbert turns out. If available, avail yourself of Humbert’s Gateau du Fromage Blanc, one of the best desserts in town and lighter than the dense versions we are used to in New York. With wife Chantal, one of the most adorable women on the Nice dining scene, serving you, the Petite Alsace is worth sacrificing one cuisine Nicoise lunch or dinner.

Lou Pistou. While La Merenda two doors down turns away the hungry twice a day, day in, day out, Lou Pistou nearly always has one of its half-dozen or so tables available. Our gourmand Nicoise friends consider the cuisine of La Merenda a bit too refined to qualify as real Nice cuisine while considering that of Lou Pistou the genuine, home-like article. True, while the dishes at La Merenda put out by former Michelin two-star chef Dominic Le Stanc are “better made”, Lou Pistou’s are equally satisfying, besides which you get to sit in real dining chairs as opposed to on a stool. Lou Pistou’s plat du jour is almost always a winner as are the ratatouille, the pesto soup, and possibly the best petits farcis in Nice. The husband cooks, the wife serves and the price is right.

L’Univers (Christian Plumail). For eight years we heeded the advice of some friends who said what a bad restaurant L’Univers is. It took our first visit on a night we were looking for something different to discover for ourselves that they were right. How it ever received, let alone maintains, its Guide Michelin star is beyond us, even though it is one of the few upscale-looking restaurants in Nice. The night we were there, there was a French couple, the Rauch family of four, and another American couple. I wish we had been seated closer to our compatriots, especially the couple, the husband of which was one of those Americans who assumes some generic foreign accent while talking to the serving staff so as not to be mistaken for “one of those”. Of course everyone in the room knew what country he was from. I only was able to make out his precise words one time, which was when he ordered a dessert and referred to one of the ingredients as “pistachi”. He and his wife along with Mrs. Rauch and her two girls asked some questions, all of which concerned the salad situation—what kind could they order, what dressing did it come with, and so forth. As for us, our tart of crab, a shaped confit of lamb, and lamb rib chops and saddle were badly made and, in the case of the last dish, overcooked. Our dinner was joyless (except for trying to eavesdrop on Governor Pistachi) expensive and emblematic of what plagues many restaurants just below the top echelon: hoodwinking the uninformed diner with dishes that look good on the plate, lack interesting conception and making use of inferior products and culinary shortcuts.

Ambitious restaurants, new ones of which are virtually non-existent in Nice, are soon to be manifested in at least one instance by the owners of Restaurant Jouni, a small restaurant near the old port. This band box affair owned by Finnish chef Jouni Tormanen and his partner Giuseppe Serena is closing in early fall and reopening in the circa 1925 beach club restaurant La Reserve just beyond the port in the direction of Cap Ferrat. Before closing as a sad affair with a restaurant serving frozen fish, La Reserve will have a large dining room upstairs and a bar serving more informal food downstairs. We always make it a point to visit Jouni, and after a couple of disappointing meals in the past two years, the ones we had last month and this February were on the money. The locals we know are looking forward with optimism, as are we. Jouni should no longer be hamstrung by his tiny kitchen, highly-limited menu and the general restraints on a CV that includes stops at el Bulli, Ducasse in Monaco and one or two restaurants in Italy.

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