A Day in Nice ( Long )
- Phil Laurie
Nice is my favourite city, in the world.
We managed a day visit only on our holiday this year in the South of France. Arriving late because SNCF where having an off month, we headed for the Street market in AV. Malaussena. Now all the guides, cook books in the world will point you in the direction of the market in Cours Saleya, but the main market is just north of the city centre in Av. Malaussena, it is laid out along two sides of a fine Victorian avenue, has non of the picturesque beauty of Saleya, but this is a working market where real people shop to live, every day except Monday, arrive early it closes at noon. It starts with stallholders who sell nothing but salads, as you work up the way general vedgetables take over at the very top are the fruit and fish sections. The fish section should be on everyones itinary. Also there is a covered section with butchers and a fine Fromagerie. There is also a Cheval Butcher. Of special note is a lemon seller the like of which you will not often see.
For lunch we went to the old city, to a restaurant called L'ecurie, 4 Rue de Marche, and ate outside in one of the cavourness, narrow alley ways. We started with a degustation ( sampling) plate of Nicoise specialities, the highlight was definatly some stuffed saedines, but Roasted Peppers and Anchovies and Sanguine Mushrooms with small Nicoise Olives where excellent too. What I like about Nice is the way it combines the best of Italy with the best of France, in a very French kind of way, so we had pasta next, the lady of the house had Ravioli filled with Daube Nicoise, which was uttery fantastic, aand came with three huge pieces of beef which where of a melting tenderness. I had Gnochi, with gorganzola sauce, which perhaps was not the finest example of the genra but not bad. The kids had an excellent Carbonara. We drank a bottle of Rose with the meal.
For desert we went, and this wqas the highlight of the trip for me, to Fenochios Ice Cream Shop, in the square by the Cathedral in the old town, you can't miss it. If you ever get the chance this place is heaven, I had Confiture du Lait, and Choclate which are the very definitions for me of what Ice Cream should be. It is worth noting that there is a Glacier in the Nice Etoile shopping center called Penocchios, which is a lookalike and far inferior.
Anybody who is interested in the cuisine of Nice should try to get hold of a copy of Cuisine Nicoise by Jacques Medecin, who was the mayor until he fled the country to avoid corruption charges and ended up selling Tee Shirts in Argentina.