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May 15, 2008 10:03 AM

cote d'azur help needed!

We're going to be in Antibes for a weekend in June. We're reserved at Louis XV -- can't wait. The question is the other two nights. We were thinking Vieux Murs in Antibes for one night and maybe bouillabaisse for the other, but (a) couldn't decide between L'Ane Rouge and Tetou, (b) aren't sure if the outrageous price for the bouillabaisse is really worth it, and (c) are worrying about what else we'll miss. Obvioulsy Louis XV is our gastro meal, so we're looking for great experiences above all else -- any ideas would be appreciated!

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  1. Go to "L'Oasis" near Cannes which is a two star: I think it will be a better, albeit different, overall experience than Louis XV. (I also prefer the ambience.) Frankly, my wife and I return to Cannes/San Remo in October for a week and we'll return to both L'Oasis and L'Ane Rouge but not Louis XV. I have not been to Tetou but I have had L'Epuisette and a number of others over the years. I cannot imagine it being better than L'ane Rouge (although Chef June likes their bourride). I should note that I really also like their staff, the ambience of their room and their wine list. Again, if you go order the bouillibasse in advance. Also reserve at least a couple of weeks in advance for the summer: this restaurant (as well as L'Oasis) is enormously popular. E70 for bouillibasse is a bargain for what they will serve you. I suspect you've never had a bouillibasse like this before. Please read my comments about bouillibasse in the thread below this. Thanks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Joe H

      In summer I would likely prefer bouillabaisse over bourride, but have never been to L'Ane Rouge in summer. A real treat all around. I wouldn't miss it.

      1. re: ChefJune

        thanks so much -- just emailed L'Ane Rouge to request a reservation. What do you think on the Louis XV/L'Oasis issue? Joe H. has clear views -- and you?

        1. re: ejr

          I've not been to either, but I wouldn't miss the opportunity to dine at Le Louis XV! It's a thing of legends....

    2. I would try to get to Jacques Maximin for one of your dinners. It is truly spectacular (2 Michelin stars), and not even terribly expensive. The food is updated traditional, emphasizing regional specialties and local ingredients, and the atmosphere of the rustic/elegant stone farmhouse is absolutely beautiful.

      14 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        I believe he recently retired.

        1. re: Joe H

          Are you sure? I could not find anything on the web to indicate that he has retired or that the restaurant has closed. Perhaps you are confusing him with someone else?

          1. re: rrems

            Yes, he definitely closed last fall.

            1. re: rrems

              Here is the Michelin '08 entry - "Vence (06) Jacques Maximin "Table d'Amis" Cessation d'activité", I assume this is the one you refer to.

              1. re: rrems

                My wife and I wanted to go to his restaurant in January when we were in Nice. When they did not answer either the phone or e-mails I asked the concierge at the Negresco who told me of his retirement. The restaurant we went to instead, L'Universe-Christian Plumail, is probably the worst Michelin starred restaurant I have been to in almost three decades of European travel.

                1. re: Joe H

                  Joe - I'm staying at the Carlton in Cannes. I've read your previous report somewhere that it took 4 hours to do the bouillabaisse service at L'Ane Rouge. Is it feasible to get to L'Ane Rouge in Nice, have dinner, then catch the train back to Cannes if the last train leaves at around 10:00pm? I'm trying to avoid driving to Nice if at all possible...

                  1. re: porkiepiggy

                    I sincerely doubt it but it is a very easy drive with only one real turn from L'Ane Rouge to the Carlton; it is also only about 25 km. If you can find your way to the airport in Nice note that the road that runs literally in front of it is the same road that will take you to the harbor that L'Ane Rouge fronts on. When we were there I rented a car at the Hertz which is one block off of the this road (about midway between the Negresco and L'Ane Rouge) and later, returned it at the Nice airport. A cab was not a consideration since it was E 28 just from the airport to the Negresco which is about 10 km! I'm guessing that from the Carlton to L'Ane Rouge would probably run about E 60 or so. A taxi travelling even a very short distance in Nice is still expensive. I really would give serious consideration to driving. There is also a GREAT restaurant near Cannes that you should go to: the two Michelin star L'Oasis which is one of the best restaurants in France.
                    Last, the drive from Cannes south towards Marseilles is one of the most beautiful drives anywhere. Well worth renting a car and experiencing. Please forgive me for persisting about renting a car: this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Just made for exploring and getting lost in.

                    1. re: Joe H

                      thanks, joe! I'm actually renting a car but doing a lot of driving through provence. I'm afraid if food coma sets in that I won't make it back to the hotel! :)

                      so if you had a choice between L'Oasis and L'Ane Rouge would you choose L'Oasis hands down? I'm only in Cannes for one night because I didn't want to drive back to my hotel in Avignon (i'm doing a perfume mixing thing in grasse the next day) but have read your reviews on the bouillabaisse at L'Ane Rouge and it sounds absolutely fantastic!

                      1. re: porkiepiggy

                        porkiepiggy- is your one night any time between now and September, even October? If it is, the traffic between Cannes and Nice can be extremely, frustratingly slow.

                        Depending on your priority, I'd suggest either eating closer to Cannes (and Joe H's review of L'Oasis makes me want to go there), or changing my stay from the Carlton to somewhere closer to L'Ane Rouge.

                        Otherwise, you are going to be away from the Carlton for something like 6-7 hours, and if you are only there for one night, it seems like kind of a waste of the stay. I've stayed in and around both Nice and Cannes (one of the times at the Carlton) on and off season, and the difference in traffic is dramatic.

                        Another hybrid solution is to take the train to Nice (which is the timeframe when traffic would be the worst), and book a car or taxi for the return after dinner.

                        1. re: porkiepiggy

                          I would choose one of the two prix fixe menus at L'Oasis especially considering that you only have one night at the Carlton. If you go to either please post your thoughts on here. Thanks.

                          1. re: Joe H

                            First off, my apologies to EJR - i highjacked your thread!!

                            Secondly, thanks for still responding. Souvenir - that's the info I was looking for. I'm going to be there in July so I was worried the traffic would be a nightmare! Joe H - I'm heavily leaning towards L'Oasis. I will definitely share my thoughts if I make it over there!

                            1. re: porkiepiggy

                              I'm glad the info was helpful to you. I look forward to reading your report wherever you end up!

                              1. re: porkiepiggy

                                We were at L'Oasis last Thursday and had a very disappointing experience for a lot of money. You can read all about it on Country Epicure.

                                1. re: beaulieu

                                  We had an entirely different experience at L'Oasis on our visit in January. Regardless, at this level and a prix fixe of E 190 it should be consistently excellent.

                                  This is what you wrote about L'Ane Rouge whose bouillibasse (which I make) I raved about several months ago: "I had read on Chowhound a report that L’Ane Rouge serves the best bouillabaisse in the world. On the menu there is an item:
                                  Sur Commande : La marmite du pêcheur servie en Bouillabaisse (minimum deux personnes, prix par personne.)
                                  This implies that it is the similar fish stew popularized by the neighboring restaurant Les Pecheurs, but the report on Chowhound implies a full-scale three-serving production. I imagine it is quite good, if not the world’s best or most authentic, and would probably be worth ordering in advance the next time we think of returning to L’Ane Rouge."

                                  I have never heard of Les Pecheurs nor have I had anything at L'Ane Rouge other than their bouillibasse. It is only their bouillibasse (they have their own fishing boat!) that I have had. But it was absolutely outstanding and stand by what I wrote. I have a great deal of respect for the effort and expense that went into that dish. What they served was, for me, the best I have had anywhere. There may be better somewhere-or its equal (a fisherman's grandmother who is a great cook?)-but this alone was worth the journey.

                                  This is what I wrote about L'Ane Rouge:

                                  I wish you had tried it.

              2. You will love Louis XV; I had seven meals at Louis XV 6 weeks ago and loved them all, especially the one in the aquarium. Other memorable meals were at Chevre d'or in Eze and at Restaurant Mirazur a wonderful one-star in Menton with an exciting menu and an extremely well trained chef (Passard, Ducasse, Loisseau, and Martin).