Nice Restaurant suggestions
- FrancoYYZ Jul 2, 2008 10:00 AM
Hello i will be in Nice in the next few weeks.
I have been there on a number of occasions but usually cooked at home...
Does anyone have great restaurant recommendation?
Open to Michelin star restaurant to the smallest hole in the wall..
Okay, I'm going for the hole-in-the-wall, but it's a fantastic one: La Meranda, 4 rue de la Terrasse, not far off the strand and the market square. They have no phone and if you don't reserve, you won't get in; only ways are to write or to stop by. Be sure to try their courgettes...and their pasta pistou is out of this world!
Jouni La Reserve is a very good place on the higher end scale. It has 2 areas, a bistro on the first floor and upstairs is a more formal room. I've only eaten in the downstairs area but have been several times and it was superb each time.
In a more medium range I like Bistro Antione and La Tire Bouchon.
La Merenda is also a favorite for regional cuisine as is Acchiardo which is a family-run place in the old town. Neither one takes credit cards and they are both closed on the weekend.
I like L'Aromate and Le Diamant Noir in Nice. Keisuke Matsushima is the best of the starred restaurants. To the east try La Table du Cap in St-Jean-Cap Ferrat. Mirazur on the Italian border is as good as everyone says.
I've been meaning to write up a report of our trip to Nice as I have to thank Chef June for her recommendation of L'Ane Rouge. Wonderful seafood right on the old harbor...it was one of our favorite meals of our trip through the south of France (from Nice to Barcelona).
We tried to get into La Meranda on our first night but we were too late and they were full (we were in Nice over Easter weekend so that made things difficult). We ended up at Le Tire Bouchon, which was a really great re-introduction to being back in France...very good traditional food.
For lunch the next day did enjoy some socca at Nissa Socca. And on Easter we had a very lovely lunch at the Chateau Eze. I never see anything about this restaurant on this board (as opposed to the Chateau de la Chevre D'Or, which everyone recommends). My husband liked the look of the Easter menu at the Chateau Eze so I decided to take a chance... and I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be one of the highlight meals of our trip. It was simply an enjoyable meal from start to finish.
I loved Nice and was sorry that we only spent a few days there. I hope to go back!
La Zucca Magica. Highly inventive vegetarian. Inexpensive and informal. A unique place, capturing the spirit of Nice. Nothing quite like it elsewhere. Chef is a well-known character.
I recently spent 3 days in Nice. I had mentioned to our hotel's front desk that I wanted to order bouillabaise while I was in Nice, and that I knew there were some restaurants known for the dish (I had read about L'Ane Rouge on CH, but couldn't think of the name). The front desk enthusiastically encouraged me to try a small family restaurant nearby called Davia, that served a very delicious bouillabaise she had really enjoyed. The restaurant needed 24 hours notice, so we agreed to have a reservation made for the Wed night.
The first night we tried Le Tire Bouchon, which was fine for a prix fixe. The food tasted quite good. The service was friendly. I wasn't a fan of their red mullet starter (which used somewhat dry, possibly lightly smoked red mullet), probably because I was spoiled by exceptionally good red mullet in Greece last year.
The second day, we found a soup bar on a corner north of the Place Massena by about 10 blocks. They had 4 different gazpachos on the menu. My cucumber, basil and lime gazpacho, garnished with smoked salmon was amazing. It cost roughly 6 Euros. This was the best tasting meal I had in Nice.
That night, I found out that La Merenda was closed for their vacation. I asked about the Pot D'Etain, as well as 3 other restaurants on my list. I walked past the Pot D'Etain to see the menu, and discovered that they focused on food of the Sud-Ouest, and mostly served duck and pork. We were so close to the Mediterranean, and I was hoping to find good seafood options, so I returned to our hotel and asked if there were any good restaurants serving more Nicoise-style food. We ended up at a recommended restaurant (but the name is escaping me) that featured a Nicoise menu, complete with various beignets (inc. zucchini flowers) and a antipasti tray, ravioili, gnocchi with pistou, daube with polenta, etc, but the food was salty and the flavours seemed heavy handed. At least it was very economical, and the portions were generous.
The last day, we ordered non traditional galettes filled with gorgonzola in a fairly touristic part of town. Mostly because we were hungry, and it was convenient.
Wednesday night, we showed up for our bouillabaise at Davia. It was a huge serving of bouillabaise, enough for 6 people (we had ordered for 3), but it was disappointing. Some of the fish was overcooked, and some just didn't seem as fresh as it could have been, especially considering the kitchen had notice and we were less than 500 m from the Mediterranean. I found the seasoning to be heavy handed, once again. The server asked if we needed help, and I thought he would serve us. He sort of slopped it into our bowls (in a friendly way), and showed us how to put rouille on a toast (we knew this step), and sort of filleted one piece of fish, but in a way where most of the bones went into the stew. I was constantly watching for little bones and scales, and I quickly tired of the flavour. Even though the bouillabaise was disappointing, their chocolate mousse was quite good.
The other 2 occupied tables were occupied by other Anglophones, probably referred to the restaurant by the hotel.
If I return to Nice in the future, I would try to to splurge on the Michelin-starred restaurants, and I would set up my reservations in advance. Apart from the soup bar, I found most of the economical restaurants I tried left me with the feeling that I had been gouged.
It was a little weird, because we were staying at a well-situated hotel with good ratings. I was a little suspicious that the sales pitch was so enthusiastic for the family restaurant nearby from 2 different staff members, and in retrospect, rightly so.
I discovered the hotel's computers (which would have given me access to CH) after I had agreed to make the reservation, so I sort of felt obliged to keep the reservation, in case the restaurant had ordered ingredients for the dish.
Guess it just wasn't meant to be! Next time, it'll be at L'Ane Rouge!
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/485636 It is not as easy as you might think to find excellent bouillibasse on the French Riviera. To find great is far more difficult. I have not had the bourride at L'Ane Rouge that ChefJune has but this is another great dish to have there. This is the best restaurant in Nice and worth remembering if you are going there. Frankly, you will have to reserve in advance for most nights of the week. For their bouillibasse you MUST request it at least several days in advance. There may only be two or three other restaurants in all of France that do it as well (L'Epuisette in Marseilles come to mind). And a grandmother or two.
Hey thanks for all the feedback.
I too went to La Merenda which i was very excited top try and unfortunately was closed for Vacation until August 11th!
By all means, go to La Meranda! Be sure to try the Pasta Pistou and the courgettes. Stop by and make a reservation in advance, though.