Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Côte d'Azur Riviera


Jonathan Day
 Share

Recommended Posts

You might enjoy a trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer, just beyond Nice. This is a beautiful little port with some lovely restaurants. La Mere Germaine is particularly good for fish, and further up across the street is Carpaccio, which has an Italian influence. I think it’s a beautiful spot.

In Nice, there are some very good fish restaurants with outdoor seating in the pedestrian zone. I really like Boccaccio, which does eye-wateringly fresh assiette de fruits de mer, wonderful sea bass (loup de mer) in a salt crust, St Pierre and many others. The medieval (and touristy) town of St Paul de Vence up the hill is well worth a visit, but is not a great place for eating, with the exception of La Colombe d’Or which is on the expensive side of things. The same goes for Eze which is beautiful to visit, but realistically, only provides top end eating in La Chevre d’Or and Chateau Eza.

Cap d’Antibes is stunning and probably one of the most expensive spots with the wonderful and dramatically positioned Eden Roc restaurant perched on the coast, but in Antibes itself, there are loads of little restaurants with menus pinned outside. I’ve tried quite a few on spec, but can’t recall any of the names. However, down by the water, just beyond the Musee Picasso, is Les Vieux Murs, which although a bit more formal, has some good prix fixe menus. I had some excellent bouillabaisse there, but I imagine you will be having plenty of that in Marseilles!

Further on into Cannes, there is a nice little restaurant called L’Assiette in the old part of the town (signposted Le Suquet) and Machou is also a wonderful place for its crudités with bagna cauda and superb grilled meat, but a bit more expensive. As a rule of thumb in Cannes, the further in from the Croisette, the better the price. In case you are looking for markets, there is a wonderful one near this area in Cannes (behind the town hall), which is groaning with fresh produce, charcuterie, meat and cheese; all the fixings you’ll need for a great picnic. There is a market in Nice too, but I'm not as familiar with it. Wines to try are Bandol Rose and, for a treat, Domaines Ott Clos Mireille, with its distinctive asymmetric yellow label

Further on up the coast, to Mandelieu La Napoule, things are a little bit quieter and there are some lovely little restaurants. You can get a fair gauge just by looking at the menus, and there are some very reasonable places.

If you are interested in pottery, it is well worth taking a trip about a mile in-land from Juan-Les-Pins to Vallauris, where just about every shop sells hand thrown, earthenware salad bowls, soup bowls, serving plates… you name it. Picasso put this little town back on the map when he went there to do some ceramic work. In fact, if you are anyway interested in art, you will have an incredible time visiting the various museums along this stretch of the south.

Have a wonderful time, and I’d love to hear how you get on.

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another place in Nice that we always head for the minute we land is Dominique le Stanq's La Merenda. This is a treasure for food lovers.

It is tiny with only about 8 tables. You can't make reservations (there is no phone) and you sit on stools. There is only one white wine and one red wine (available by the glass).

However, the food is among the best in France and it certainly isn't expensive. Expect to find authentic Nicoise food cooked perfectly. The stuffed sardines are legendary as is the daube. The tourte de blette is a dessert you must try. It is a sweet tart made with Swiss chard and raisins - sounds strange but it works really well.

You can read our review of the restaurant here.

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice threads here, and here.

I will, however, second La Merenda. Like Mr. McShane, my wife and I are hoping to hit it the evening we touch down in Nice this summer, this time with the kids.

And, it may be apostacy to say so, but there is much to be said for great pizza served in an old piazza with a sea breeze and a starry sky, as you can do about two blocks from Merenda, at La Petit Romarin in Place Rosetti. In fact, if you want to save your euros for a big blowout or two, Nice is famous for its low-priced street food, so (it is said) you can eat cheap there and blow the budget somewhere else.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WEll, where to begin... Just a word about La Mérenda. It's known everywhere, by everyone who lives in or visits Nice. So how can a 12 seat restaurant be an institution? No phone to boot? Well, M. LeStanc does it his way, giving up a nice gig at Le Chantecler in the Negresco for his quirky ways. But it must be experienced once. P.S. The seats are not too comfortable, either, but it's just so unique and the food is so good, you need to go once...

I know right smack on the beach in Cap DÁntibes is Le Cesar, known for its seafood (what else) and its location. But of course, it's Cap d'Antibes, so it is priced accordingly.

One of the true bargains in Nice, is a 1-star L'Univers. Even with its star, gracious service and excellent food, you can get away for less than 80E for 2. Website: L'Univers

For a seafood splurge, in Nice, I prefer Les Viviers to the above mentioned Bocaccio. 22 rue Alphonse Karr.

I don't care much for any of the restos in Villefranche-sur-Mer. They are beautifully situated, but they all disappoint. Shame. In Beaulieu-sur-Mer, a really nice simple place is Le Catalan. A simple pizza and salad, or something more elaborate, this place is fun. 52 blvd General LeClerc, just around the corner from the RR station. Also on the port, African Queen is similar. A little pricier, but a great location with the boats bobbing around.

A wonderful restaurant in Cap d'Ail is Le Cabanon. A bit hard to find, but worth it, right on a secluded beach with an idyllic view of the dunes and the water. Not fancy, but very good food. Go for lunch or dinner. Website Make a right turn toward the beach at the eastern end of town, through the backs of the apartment complexes. Don't give up, it's worth finding!!

More later, if you want...

P.S. Don't miss the Picasso Musée in Antibes, and the Picasso ceramics showroom, displaying the plates made from the molds he designed for Madoura, in Vallauris. Renoir House in Cagnes is wonderful as well.

Edited by menton1 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must also endorse La Merenda, the bargain of all bargains for excellent food at exceedingly reasonable prices. Be aware that the street has changed names in the recent past and most guides haven't haqd time to make the correction. Also the good seafood renditions at Les Viviers can be had for less money at their adjacent bistro; I think the food comes from the same kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would second L'Univers. The food was excellent, and they have several Bellets on the wine list, which I would urge you to try.

Also a second for La Mere Germaine. The setting is as good as it gets, the service is great, and even if you pay a little more than some of the places along the waterfront, I think it is worth it.

I haven't been to La Merenda since M. LeStanc took over, but it sounds like he hasn't changed anything, and that is a good thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will definitely go to La Merenda and we will splurge for one really nice dinner.

We lucked out. We have enough miles for free tickets, enough points for two nights in a hotel in Avignon and we are staying a friend's villa in Cap d'Antibe. We are very excited. We haven't had a vacation in two years.

I have also looked on the Michelin website and found some interesting restaurants that we are going to check out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A group of us (8 pax) are planning a maiden trip to the Cote d'Azur in late April and early May. We're on a boat and will be sailing from Monaco to St Tropez calling at the following ports/marinas - Monaco/Cap Ferrat/Cap d'Antibes/Ille de Lerins/Cannes/Ile de Porquerolles/St Tropez/Pamplonne Bay/St Tropez. We're planning to spend a night at each stop.

From reading previous posts and recommendations in this forum and consulting various guidebooks and websites, I have cobbled together an initial list of restaurants/cafes to consider; Monaco - Louis XV, Robuchon, Quai des Artistes, Jimmy'z, Sass Cafe; Cap Ferrat - La Reserve du Baillieu; Cap d'Antibes - Bacon, Les Vieux Murs, Hotel Belle Rives, Eden Roc; Nice - Tetou, Le Palm d'Or, La Marenda; Cannes - Villa des Lys, Mantel, Gaston-Gastounette; Ille de Porquerolles - Le relais de la Poste; St Tropez - Les Mouscardins, Spoon Byblos, La Pinede, Le Gorille; Pamplonne Bay - Voile Rouge, Club 55. Any suggestions on how to expand, trim, tweak or even replace the list would be gratefully received.

Not having been to the area before, I would be very happy to receive any further advice from this community in terms of restaurant suggestions as well as advice generally on "must dos". I've got the Musee Matisse, Musee Chagall and the Cours Saleya on the "must do" list. Any other recommendations?

Finally, we're hoping to play some golf on the Cote. St Maximes and the Royal Mougins come highly recommended. This may not be the right forum to bring this topic up but any other golf course recommendations would be welcome.

Edited by CommissionerLin (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does sound like it will be a wonderful journey! I will point you to some threads that will be of help. Maybe regulars to the restaurants in this region can chime in on any recent finds or updates.

Restaurants in Monaco/Nice/St. Tropez/Provence

Restaurants in and Around Nice

Cap Ferrat

Cap d'Antibes and Surroundings

Good Eating in Cannes

St. Tropez

From what it looks like you may need to do more homework on St. Tropez. Your assignment to bring back and report: Ile de Porquerolles which is rumored to have good eats but we don't have names, and Pamplonne Bay. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a nice trip. You didn't indicate the length of time you are allowing in this cruise down the coast. YOu have a huge # of restaurants on your list. Mostly high end. There are also a multitude of middle-ground restos that are wonderful. Street food in Nice is also great.

Have you checked out a stop at the Port in Beaulieu-sur-Mer? I have heard from boat people that this is a much, much more "user-friendly" port than the one in Monaco. Easy access, and lower docking fees, too.

I'm not much of a fan of Monaco myself. Extremely congested, and many huge high-rises. I prefer the relative serenity of the France communities from Menton to Nice. Monaco, for me, is just overdone and pretentious. But we are all different.

There are literally dozens of touristic sites in this area, you won't have time to see them all, I'm sure. A favorite of mine is the Ephrussi Mansion in Cap Ferrat. YOu are also going at the best time of year for all the spring flowers.

Bon voyage!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does sound like it will be a wonderful journey!  I will point you to some threads that will be of help.  Maybe regulars to the restaurants in this region can chime in on any recent finds or updates. 

From what it looks like you may need to do more homework on St. Tropez.  Your assignment to bring back and report:  Ile de Porquerolles which is rumored to have good eats but we don't have names, and Pamplonne Bay.    :smile:

Thanks a lot Lucy for digging up those old threads. I've gone through them and theres loads of interesting nuggets even though some of the posts date back to 2004. I will certainly bring back a food/restaurant report to this forum, particularly on the St Tropez/Ile de Porquerolles/Pamplonne Bay end of the Cote. I've also promised to post a trip report on another yatching forum I subscribe to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second Menton on Beaulieu. When I went to the Cote a couple of years back I had several friends' eyes get wide when I told them that I "had" to stay in Beaulieu instead of Monaco -- surprisingly enough, they, too had stumbled across it amidst the more famous towns in the area. They all remembered it as a spectacular little place, and so did I. It's also a nice change from the "Big City" feel of Nice and Monaco. There's a friendly, if not astounding, restaurant right by the railroad station called Les Agaves. And Monaco, if you have reservations at Louis XV, is a 10-15 minute cab ride away (non-rush hour) and 15 minutes by commuter train in rush hour. Quai des Artistes, btw, should be avoided (except for drinks -- lovely harbor view).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a nice trip.  You didn't indicate the length of time you are allowing in this cruise down the coast.  YOu have a huge # of restaurants on your list.  Mostly high end.  There are also a multitude of middle-ground restos that are wonderful.  Street food in Nice is also great. 

Have you checked out a stop at the Port in Beaulieu-sur-Mer?  I have heard from boat people that this is a much, much more "user-friendly" port than the one in Monaco.  Easy access, and lower docking fees, too. 

I'm not much of a fan of Monaco myself.  Extremely congested, and many huge high-rises.  I prefer the relative serenity of the France communities from Menton to Nice.  Monaco, for me, is just overdone and pretentious.  But we are all different. 

There are literally dozens of touristic sites in this area, you won't have time to see them all, I'm sure.  A favorite of mine is the Ephrussi Mansion in Cap Ferrat.  YOu are also going at the best time of year for all the spring flowers. 

Bon voyage!

Thanks Menton. The trip will be of 12 days duration, timed to avoid the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix when the chances of getting berths are as good as striking the national lottery or coming out ahead after a visit to the Casino de Monte Carlo. Yes, I have heard that Monaco can be very touristy and congested (particularly during the Grand Prix) but this is my first trip and I gotta check it out at least once. We're currently scheduled to berth in Port Hercule I think, but I will certainly look into berthing facilities at Bailleau sur Mer. In terms of restos in Monaco, we've been advised by all and sundry to avoid Louis XV in favour of Robuchon. Will check out the Ephrussi Mansion in Cap Ferrat which will be our next stop after Monaco.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second Menton on Beaulieu.  When I went to the Cote a couple of years back I had several friends' eyes get wide when I told them that I "had" to stay in Beaulieu instead of Monaco -- surprisingly enough, they, too had stumbled across it amidst the more famous towns in the area.  They all remembered it as a spectacular little place, and so did I.  It's also a nice change from the "Big City" feel of Nice and Monaco.  There's a friendly, if not astounding, restaurant right by the railroad station called Les Agaves.  And Monaco, if you have reservations at Louis XV, is a 10-15 minute cab ride away (non-rush hour) and 15 minutes by commuter train in rush hour.  Quai des Artistes, btw, should be avoided (except for drinks -- lovely harbor view).

Thanks Busboy. Guess I will have to check out Bailleau sur Mer and Les Agaves. Although we don't mind some "Big City" exposure as we'll have our fair share of rusticity in Ille de Lerins and Ile de Porquerolles. Is there a particular reason to avoid QdA? Poor service? Poor value for money?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, have a great time, Commissioner. Just a comment on Nice vs. Monaco. Nice is a real place, real people. A big city, but low rise buildings, and spread out. Monaco is more like an amusement park for the rich and famous. Police in starched white uniforms, impeccable. Cameras on the street watching your every move.

About 60 miles down the coast, Porquerolles is a dreamy place. No cars, you walk everywhere. I believe there are only 1 or 2 restaurants. Really off the beaten track, just a place for peace and quiet. Wonderfully boring. Enjoy.

As a curiosity, on your way into port at St Trop, pass by a place called Port Grimaud. Built as a vision in the 60s, it's a "modern Venice" where every dwelling has their own dock, and the homes are on a series of land fingers built out into the bay. A bit if kitsch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Musee Picasso in Antibes.

Thanks Michelle. I had intended to visit but omitted to mention it in my haste to post. I have read al lot about his paintings perticularly the sombre Pesche de nuit a Antibes , La Joie de vivre and St Jean Cap Ferrat which I believe are on display at the museum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second Menton on Beaulieu.  When I went to the Cote a couple of years back I had several friends' eyes get wide when I told them that I "had" to stay in Beaulieu instead of Monaco -- surprisingly enough, they, too had stumbled across it amidst the more famous towns in the area.  They all remembered it as a spectacular little place, and so did I.  It's also a nice change from the "Big City" feel of Nice and Monaco.  There's a friendly, if not astounding, restaurant right by the railroad station called Les Agaves.  And Monaco, if you have reservations at Louis XV, is a 10-15 minute cab ride away (non-rush hour) and 15 minutes by commuter train in rush hour.  Quai des Artistes, btw, should be avoided (except for drinks -- lovely harbor view).

Thanks Busboy. Guess I will have to check out Bailleau sur Mer and Les Agaves. Although we don't mind some "Big City" exposure as we'll have our fair share of rusticity in Ille de Lerins and Ile de Porquerolles. Is there a particular reason to avoid QdA? Poor service? Poor value for money?

Re: QdA I dined there one evening and found the food utterly unremarkable -- and have heard from others that this is par for the course. I just think you can probably do better.

In my limited experience the "never trust the food at a restaurant with a view" has been pretty accurate in and around the harbors of the Cote d'Azure.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a fine meal, I would recommend La Bastide de St. Antoine in Grasse, I have had some of the best meals of my life in that place (not cheap). I liked it more than the Louis XV, found it to be more laid back. Especially if you can go there for lunch, it's much more affordable, and if you can secure a table in the garden, it's just a great experience.

Not sure if this will "fit" the entire crew you are going with, but a place worth visiting in my opinion is Le Musee de l'Art Culinaire which is in Villeneuve-Loubet, just west of Nice. It's Escoffier's childhood home, and it became a museum in 1966.

Arley Sasson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, have a great time, Commissioner.  Just a comment on Nice vs. Monaco.  Nice is a real place, real people.  A big city, but low rise buildings, and spread out.  Monaco is more like an amusement park for the rich and famous.  Police in starched white uniforms, impeccable.  Cameras on the street watching your every move. 

About 60 miles down the coast, Porquerolles is a dreamy place.  No cars, you walk everywhere.  I believe there are only 1 or 2 restaurants.  Really off the beaten track, just a place for peace and quiet.  Wonderfully boring.  Enjoy. 

As a curiosity, on your way into port at St Trop, pass by a place called Port Grimaud.  Built as a vision in the 60s, it's a "modern Venice" where every dwelling has their own dock, and the homes are on a series of land fingers built out into the bay.  A bit if kitsch.

On the subject of kitsch and unique places on the Côte, I thought of another one. In Villeneuve-Loubet, just east of Cannes, (Probably can also be seen from Lérins) is an apartment complex, the "Marina Baie des Anges". Also built in the 60s, this is like no other. 3 buildings, all curved, with the building tapering drastically toward the top and the floor area being dramatically reduced accordingly. There are boat docks for all tenants, and the terrasses are so huge that many have huge palm trees and exotic tropical gardens. I understand that inside, these are not what they used to be, but from the outside, they are quite unique and memorable!! (Can also get a great view of them from the plane on the approach to Nice)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a fine meal, I would recommend La Bastide de St. Antoine in Grasse, I have had some of the best meals of my life in that place (not cheap). I liked it more than the Louis XV, found it to be more laid back. Especially if you can go there for lunch, it's much more affordable, and if you can secure a table in the garden, it's just a great experience.

Not sure if this will "fit" the entire crew you are going with, but a place worth visiting in my opinion is Le Musee de l'Art Culinaire which is in Villeneuve-Loubet, just west of Nice. It's Escoffier's childhood home, and it became a museum in 1966.

Thanks Arley, yes I have heard and read good things about LBdSA and very much want to go there. The thing that's making us think twice is the logistics on how to get 8 people from the marina to Grasse. Are public cabs freely available? Do we take the train? From the miniature maps I'm working with I can't work out whether Grasse is closer to Cannes or Nice. But I will certainly make an effort to visit the Musee de l'Art Cullinaire. Hadn't heard about it before. The "crew" are all foodies so I don't expect anyone to veto this suggestion. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my limited experience the "never trust the food at a restaurant with a view" has been pretty accurate in and around the harbors of the Cote d'Azure.

Come now, surely someone can come up with one example of a restaurant where this is not true? If I was touring through, I'd hate to waste the view... :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...