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.

Restaurants near Villefranche-sur-Mer


AGM Cape Cod
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have very good friends AGM Cape Cod who spend their summer at their house on Martha's Vineyard and most of the winter in their apartment in Villefranche-sur-mer. (Nice life, huh?) Naturally, I passed on your request for information to them and here's their answer. I can personally vouch for Travestere and for Chibois's two star restauenat in Grasse, Bastide St-Antoine, having eaten at both with our friends last winter.

There are a number of Michelin one and two star restaurants in the general area, including Ducasse's Louis XV in Monaco (twenty minutes away by car). A very good new one (one star, but now going for two) is JOUNI, started a few years ago in Old Nice by a Finnish father and son; it is now moving to a much fancier location on the water, closer to Villefranche, but it may still be open at its old location in March (the food is extraordinary and the prix fixe lunch and dinners are both very good value)--ten minutes from VF. Another two-star people love is located in La Turbie, on the Grande Corniche: Jerome (less over the top than Ducasse, and in a very charming little town, so lovely to go for lunch--maybe twenty minutes by car).

In Villefranche itself, we think the best thin-crust pizza in the world is available at Trastevere, right on the water front. Totally unpretentious, but wonderful. Ask for the sauce piquante (spicy olive oil) to drizzle over it.

Also, the locals regard La Fille de Pecheur (again right on the waterfront) as the best restaurant in town (especially until Lounge Beach--located directly on the beach, at the far end of restaurant row--opens some time around Easter). La Fille uses local fisherman (you can see them fishing in town, by the Cocteau statue) every morning, and the tapas-like dishes are especially wonderful. Lounge Beach features extraordinary provencal/ligurian cooking--the best olive oils, olives, tomatoes, shellfish; everything skilfully prepared, and the setting for lunch on a beautiful warm day (there are many in March) is unforgettable: outdoors and right on the water.

Farther afield, there are two wonderful two-stars: Chibois' restaurant in Grasse (very good value lunch prix fixe--lovely setting--excellent chef); and L'Oasis in La Napoule (again very good value lunch and wonderful food). Each of these is about forty minutes by car.

There are also two Michelin rated hotel restaurants in nearby Beaulieu (one can walk there from Villefranche): La Reserve and La Metropole. Haven't been to either one, but each has been recently re-done, and people love them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have had extensive discussions about this section of the Riviera, I think John Talbott made a compendium of them on a single thread recently.

I will just say here that for me, the most fun places here are the middle-of-the-road family places rather than the Michelin starred ones. Nice is loaded with these.

Also, consider taking a 40 minute drive to Bordighera, Italy for a complete shift in culture and food. Even the terrain changes, just a look at the scenery tells you that you are in Italy. The Ligurian regional cuisine here is awesome. We love a place called Magiarge WebSite But many many good restos in Bordighera.

Not really thrilled with the waterfront restos in Villefranche; for the most part they are touristy, mediocre, and overpriced. All for the view! Try an off-the-beaten-track place called Le Cabanon in Cap D'Ail for a great view, right smack on the beach, and some terrific fun food!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. I aspire to a life where I split my time between Cape Cod and someplace in France. Ah, well maybe the MegaMillions ticket will come through for me. I had read the older posts but having owned a restaurant I know things can change quickly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have had extensive discussions about this section of the Riviera, I think John Talbott made a compendium of them on a single thread recently.

Sorry I'm so late in catching this reference; indeed there is a compendium on the Riviera, etc under our Cities, Towns & Areas Outside Paris Pinned thread, that might make your search more productive.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'll put in a word for le Mirazur in Menton. Went there for lunch a few weeks ago further to a recommendation on the boards and found it fantastic value. There's something amusingly dated about the whole experience from the Scarface/Eurotrash environment to the Jackson Pollock food presentation. It was, however, one of the very best meals I'd had in the area. For all the razzle dazzle, at the heart of all the dishes were superb local ingredients cooked with great sensitivity. I can't wait to go back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent two summers staying in Villefranche a while back (probably 3 years since my last visit) and would second Le Fille as the best local choice. I have heard very good things about La Reserve from friends but I seem to recall that the pricing is enough to make you weep (significantly more that Chateau D'or). I ate in La Metropole which at the time was a better value alternative and would recommend this - if you do go to La Metropole make sure you get a table outside on the terrace as the pool and gardens below are lit at night which make for a pleasant setting.

For lunch I would be tempted to go further afield to one of the two stars suggested. I also recall a very good lunch in a restaurant just outside St Paul de Vence but can't remember the name - can anyone help me out here?

The Palais Maeterlinck hotel up the coast has stunning views would be a good choice for lunch or early evening drinks (particularly if you are on your way to Nice for dinner).

Hope this is helpful and not too late.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here a new comment from out friend in Villefranche who visited this restaurant a couple of days ago.

"Ate at a brand new restaurant a few blocks up from the water called Extravaganza. Very sexy decor, and lovely outdoor terasse with great water views. Adorable staff and really good Provencal/Liburian food (fish, olive oil, saffron sauces, etcetera). The best dessert was a carpaccio of pineapple (extraordinarily thin beautiful slices), gorgeously arranged on the plate, dusted with powdered sugar and balsamico, around an extraordinary home-made citron sorbet."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Le Skipper for an affordable and tasty lunch. If you want the bouillabaisse, you have to order it a day ahead.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also recall a very good lunch in a restaurant just outside St Paul de Vence but can't remember the name - can anyone help me out here?

Are you talking about La Colombe d'Or? I haven't been for years, but lunch in the courtyard is very pleasant although I think there have been some mixed reviews on the food. Great art.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Colombe D'Or IS in the center of the village St Paul-de-Vence and have never been disappointed.

Has anyone been to Silva's new restaurant in Cannes, Ondine, since he left his Moulin in Rouet?

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reinvigorated La Reserve by the water in Nice (between Coco Beach and the port--the eastern sector) that Jouni the Finn is taking over opens this Tuesday evening. I'll be there the next day and will chime in. For four days of dining, based on part-time living here for eight years, I would certainly give La Reserve a go, hoping that the bugs are out; Hostelerie Jerome for sober, quasi-classic dishes with high-quality ingredients. A visit to Mirazur in Menton last week was pleasant, but the food was mixed. The choice is limited and we found the first courses overly-complex. However, the milk-fed baby lamb served in slices and a thigh and breast of chicken were excellent. It's a restaurant to keep an eye on, and the recent modernist building and the big coast view toward Monaco should make going there worthwhile. Thanks for the mention of Tastavere. My maid's brother owns it. It's a good casual place. La Reserve in Beaulieu lost its chef back to Robuchon for his Monaco operation. Don't go to either. Dining on the terrace at the Hotel Metropole is great; unfortunately the food is of the overpriced hotel variety. Same for the Palais Materlinck, although our last lunch last summer showed improvement. As for L'Oasis in La Napoule, I've heard so many bad reports that I don't want to try it.

In Villefranche itself, I've never had a really good meal. Same for St.-Jean, although Le Skipper is one of the two or three okay spots at the harbor.

If you want to hold on to some of your funds, we find La Petite Maison and Lou Pistou (a barebones mom and pop next door to La Merenda and a fair deal for the money) to be good examples of Nicoise cooking.

When exactly will you be there. Or are you already?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AGM, I have had lunch and dinner in the spanking new La Reserve de Nice. I'll try to post on it at length. For your information, though, lunch is an interesting time to go. Bear in mind that only what will be the bistro part of the restaurant is open where it is serving the same formula as Jouni's old place, which is a limited choice menu at a fixed price; i.e. appetizer, main course and cheese or dessert for 65 euros. At lunch there is a plat du jour and a dessert for 30 euros. Today it was an individual bouilliabaisse and a lemon tartlet with strawberry sorbet. The bouilliabaisse was better than any of the dishes we had last night. Book ahead for lunch. It was virtually sold out today. The interior retains the original Art Deco design and the setting right on the bay is marvelous. This may be the classiest place between Nice and Beaulieu.

From Villefranche follow the Basse Corniche until you must turn.(If you could go straight, you would end up in at the gates of my house!!) Then take the left road at the end of the Century 21 realtor and follow the road, Avenue Jean Lorrain. After a few hundred meters, you'll be at the restaurant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

La Reserve de Nice- The recommendation was to go for the 30€ lunch but as usual we didn’t like what it was so ended up with the a la carte menu. The room is very modern but overlooks Nice Harbor and has outside decks.

Apperitif- Kir Royale with Mure

Amusee Bouche- Fresh Pea Veloute

Entrée- Pasta with artichokes and black truffles

Langoustines with sauce Maltaise (an orange hollandaise) and asparagus-great sauce

Plat- Calamari with artichokes and salade

Sea bass with gnocchi, peas and broccoli

We split with one of us getting Fromage and the other the Douceur Mandarine-Chocolat which was a chocolate cake, a mousse in a rolled piece of chocolate and a pretty amazing mandarine sorbet

Meursault

Total for the meal 130.00€; 89€ for the Meursault

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you happen to be spending a few days on the Cote, and don't mind a three and a half

hour train ride, you could mosy on up to Arles, where Jean Luc Rabanel will feed

you twenty fantastic small plates that compares to nothing you will have in Nice or its environs

It will set you back a grand total of fifty five Euros not including wine. one seating at eight

P.M and a no choise menu, he will choose the plates for you, and he is always there

Three week advance reservation is required.

Tarek

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ok here is the report:

First off, the view is fantastic and at one point when a Ferry was docking in the harbor the owner turned off the lights and we all cheered. This place has a very fun atmosphere - lighter than the usualy temple of Haute cuisine...

The food is superb and the prices are not bad.

Our 90 euro degustation menu:

Amuze Bouche (can't remember)

Rissotto of morels and peas - superb fresh peas - Excellent

Lagustines - grilled with a light salad -- Perfect

Veal Sweetbreads and Asparagus - WOW so tender and full of flavor

Baby lamb rib chops and boneless loin - light veal reduction - Superb!!

Chocalate soup - very good

Chocolate torte - ok

1999 Chateau Rayas 130 euro

All in all a fabulous meal and we will be back!!!

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

I was in Villefranche for most of a week last May, out of a two-week trip. For the most part, the restaurants there weren't the ultimate highlight of our stay in France, but two served us just fine: La Grignotière and Mère Germaine. On some of the evenings, we didn't feel like heading too far away from our hotel.

La Grignotière (at 3 Rue du Poilu) probably left us with the best memories, due to the wonderful service, and my Magret a l'Orange was very, very good. Mère Germaine didn't exceed any expectations, but it was right on the water and my meal and my companion's meal was also very good.

The worst meal I've had in France was at Chez Irene, a couple of doors down (to the right) from Mère Germaine. It appeared to be the busiest restaurant on our first night, so we decided to head inside, but it was terrible.

Carpaccio, down the waterfront, closer to the train station, was alright.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a report from our trip in March. It was a very good meal though it could be in any city and for that reason we probably wouldn't return. I wondered what the previous incarnation was like when it was more casual. Also I hadn't noticed any mention of Keisuke Matsushima on any of the boards.

Keisuke Matsushima- Nice

We had a chat with the maitre d’ at Le Comptoir and told him we were going to Villefranche-sur-mer and ask for restaurant suggestions. The next day the desk had a card from this place and said the chef recommended. Well, what would you do? It was a very good meal. It seems to be that Keisuke is trying for a Michelin star.

Our meal:

Pre amuse bouche- 4 little items- a cherry tomato incased in a hard caramel coating (really good), red pepper mousse with anchovies, magret fume wrapped around some scallions, a piece of sushi with wasabi wrapped in a paper

First Amuse Bouche- A sort of deconstructed pissaladière served cold with a small pile of caramelized onions and olives, chopped sardines and a thin piece of pastry

Second Amuse Bouche- Warm with a bottom layer of pureed scallops and topped with a potato mousse-very good

Entrées- Poutine de Mediterranee (fish alevins is the translation on Wikipedia) fried with risotto a la courgette trompette écrasée and clams

Gamberonis de la peche de San Remo with a risotto with baby broccoli and a citrus sauce

Plats- Lamb with caramelized salsify with a bay jus

Roast Veal Filet with the ris with black truffles, asparagus and a jus de veau with truffles (one of the few times I have had too much ris de veau which I adore)

Desserts- Moulleux aux chocolat with pain d’epice sorbet and raspberries

Selection of Sorbets-lichi, clementine, pain d’epice, and pineapple basil (Wow !)

Half bottles of Condrieu Vernay (34€) and Côte-Rotie Ogier (38€)

With wine, aperitifs, water and after dinner drinks the total bill came to 329€

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...