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Nice, France - Best patisserie, boulangerie, farmer's market?

p
pepitos May 31, 2007 02:27 PM

My husband and I are spending 2 weeks in Nice this summer and we wanted to line up some great places to check out before we go, so please let us know if you think there are any places that we must try while we are there. We are going to be staying seaside near the Promenade des Anglais.

Thanks!

  1. purplescout May 31, 2007 03:42 PM

    I highly recommend La Merenda, a tiny little restaurant in Nice. It's a little gem that could only exist in France. The tables are jammed together and you and the other 20 or so patrons have to sit on little stools. There is no printed menu, only a blackboard listing the choices for that day. You can't call for reservations because they don't have a phone. (You can walk by and make a reservation in person.) You can't pay by credit card because they take only cash.

    But that's all part of the atmosphere. The food is wonderful. Last time I was there we had an aioli, which is a platter of simply cooked fish and veggies served with a very garlicky saffron mayo. Then we had a perfectly ripe, runny cheese that came wrapped in leaves. When you opened the leaves, the creamy goodness ran out, to be scooped onto fresh bread. Dessert was fresh figs, barely warm, with a creamy sauce.

    Dinner is around 40Euros/person. The restaurant is only open during the week.
    You'll be staying nearby. La Merenda's address is 4 rue Raoul Bosio (if you have an old map, this street might be called rue de la Terrasse)

    1. ChefJune May 31, 2007 07:06 PM

      imho, not to be missed in Nice:
      La Merenda, as described above.
      Confiserie Henri Auer near La Merenda in Old Town. delicious pastry. but more, the glacéed fruit and the homemade preserves (confitures). also, the ""old world" charm of the place.
      N. Alziari olive and olive oil store. yes, you can get the oil here for an egregious price, but the store is charming, and you can taste the olives before you buy.
      Bar René Socca is a sort of stand in the Old Town where they make the traditional chick pea crepes and pizza. The socca is delicious, and the ambiance at the stand is pure Niçoise.
      L'Ane Rouge is a restaurant on the harbor below Old Town that specializes in Bourride, the "other" Provençal fish soup. Be sure to order a bottle of white Bellet, a wine only found in Nice, and perfect with the Bourride.
      Strolling Old Town, you will find a plethora of wonderful shops featuring various foodstuffs. It's not hard to make a lunch out of the pissaladière, socca, ice creams etc. you will encounter in your walk. Don't forget your camera. The colors are breathtaking.
      I know Roger Verge has sold his restaurants near Nice, but he may still have his cooking school in town. If it's still there, you can spend a pleasant morning there in class and get to eat the results for lunch.

      Then, easy day trips from Nice include St. Paul de Vence. Do not miss the Fondation Maegt, an incredible private Modern Art museum, as well as La Colombe d'Or... food is only so-so, but the restaurant is famous for the paintings and drawings on the wall by Picasso, Cezanne, Chagall, Matisse and the like, who exchanged art for meals there. You can't see the art without eating there.
      Vence, above St. Paul, has Matisse's Rosary Chapel, and Cagnes-sur-Mer has Renoir's house.

      1. e
        Ela0427 Jun 1, 2007 11:42 AM

        Cocktails at Negresco.

        1. beaulieu Jun 4, 2007 01:56 PM

          Aphrodite, Le Diamant Noir, Stéphane Viano

          3 Replies
          1. re: beaulieu
            p
            pepitos Jun 5, 2007 12:00 PM

            What kind of places are those? Any suggestions for great pastries to satisfy a serious sweet tooth?

            1. re: pepitos
              ChefJune Jun 5, 2007 01:38 PM

              Confiserie Henri Auer is legendary in Old Town.

              1. re: ChefJune
                beaulieu Jun 6, 2007 04:27 AM

                Auer is a great tradition, although they have eclipsed their traditional fruits confits with chocolates. But they are not a patisserie. A fantastic nearby bakery/patisserie is Espuno on the Rue Droite; they also usually have a stand in the Cours Saleya.

          2. f
            Fleur Jun 29, 2007 01:15 PM

            I have been spending long periods of time in Nice for more than 20 years. We always stay at what we think is one of the best hotels in the entire world...La PEROUSE. Right on the Bay of Angels, but high above it, stuck into le Chateau, the view is spectacular, and the rooms are lovely and quiet. The rooms overlook the sea or the gardens with their ancient Lemon trees that bloom in the Spring, and are heavily laden with huge lemons through the Fall. Walk outside, and you are steps away from le Vieux Nice, the Old Town.

            There are three not-to-be-missed shops in Nice. Two on Rue Saint Francois de Paul, a continuation of le Cours Saleya.

            Confiserie Auer is an extraordinary experience. Wonderful ice cream and desserts in a fairytale rococco original setting.Traditional colorful Nice style cakes, Pate de fruits.

            The Fruits Confits and Confitures, as well as Chocolates are among the best we have ever found.

            I order from Chez Auer every year for Christmas. Be sure to bring home some of their great preserves...available in glass jars, and also tins. The Confiture of Clementines Confits is amazing.

            ALZIERI is a most extraordinary shop. They sell their own Olive Oil, pressed in original stone presses from their own olives. The gorgeous blue and yellow tins make a beautiful display after they are used. They can also be found in flea markets and on eBay (empty). We love their olives, tapenades, and their Lavender honey, which is just divine.

            ESPUNO, on Rue Droit, is one of the most fantastic bakeries in France. an old longtime family enterprise, the Pain Brioche, the savory tarts, and Croutons for Bouillabaise are outstanding. All the bread is wonderful.

            The Marche Paysan, the Farmers' Market is held on weekends off the Cours Saleya. Wonderful cheese brought down from the mountains, exceptional honey, and other home grown delights.

            The regular Market, daily every morning in le Cours Saleya ( except Monday, when it is a great Flea Market), is colorful .

            Produce is sold that has been purchased from large growers. A market of revendeurs.

            There are wonderful specialty merchants, like the maniacal, mad, Mushroom Lady, and the wonderful family that sells the finest quality fruit, at top prices.

            Another not-to-be-missed spot is NISSA SOCCA, an outdoor operation that cooks the delicious SOCCA, chickpea crepes on 100 year old metal plaques, and scrapes off a serving on to a paper plate. Huge shakers of Black Pepper are handy to shake on, and eat it like the natives do. The lines are always long.

            We love le SAFARI, in le Cours Saleya. Great outdoor dining in a convivial atmosphere. You will rub elbows with the natives, as well as many celebrities who make le Safari their "cantine" . The food is simple, authentically Nicoise. Try La Troucha, a Swiss Chard Omelette, la Merda de Can, Raviolis Nicoise, Salads, Pizzas. We especially love the Rabbit, roasted in their wood fire ovens with potatoes.

            Bon Appetit!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fleur
              ChefJune Jun 30, 2007 01:17 AM

              <Confiserie Auer is an extraordinary experience. Wonderful ice cream and desserts in a fairytale rococco original setting.Traditional colorful Nice style cakes, Pate de fruits.

              The Fruits Confits and Confitures, as well as Chocolates are among the best we have ever found.

              I order from Chez Auer every year for Christmas. Be sure to bring home some of their great preserves...available in glass jars, and also tins. The Confiture of Clementines Confits is amazing.

              ALZIERI is a most extraordinary shop. They sell their own Olive Oil, pressed in original stone presses from their own olives. The gorgeous blue and yellow tins make a beautiful display after they are used. They can also be found in flea markets and on eBay (empty). We love their olives, tapenades, and their Lavender honey, which is just divine.>

              I haven't been to Nice in quite a while, and am thrilled to read these still glowing reviews of two of my favorites!

              One of my favorite take-aways was the Lavender Caramel Ice Cream. I found a recipe, now grow my own lavender, and every summer treat my friends to this sensuous delight!

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