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Apr 13, 2009 09:09 AM

Best "local" restaruants in Nice

Leaving Thursday: Where are the best "local restaurants" to eat in? THANKS

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  1. You MUST (repeat MUST!) request this at least two days in advance. It is the most extraordinary dinner in Nice.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Joe H

      La Merenda has a long reputation for great food, friendly service and no phone. Yet you MUST have a reservation! so you have to go there ahead of time and make one. The food is delicious and hearty. You will be glad you did. And while you are there, nearby is Alziari's olive store, where you can get umpty-dumpteen varieties of olives, as well as some of the best olive oil on earth.

      1. re: ChefJune

        I second La Merenda. We're going to be in the South of France again this summer and I'm definitely going to get back to La Merenda.

        You should also try socca, which is a traditional local food in Nice. It's a crepe made with batter of garbanzo beans. There are plenty of places around the old market that serve socca.

        1. re: purplescout

          Chickpea flower not garbanzo beans.

          1. re: allende

            Garbanzo is another name for chick pea. So it's either chickpea flour or garbanzo flour, take your pick. But it's not a "flower." ;)

      2. re: Joe H

        Ok Joe - We hope what you say is so...from America and now here in Nice. Checked your posting and made a reservation for Tuesday night for the boullibasse. Our comments will follow. Thanks for the tip!!

        1. re: sockster

          Thanks for trusting my opinion! I must also admit to a bit of envy for your first experience with their bouillibasse. It is a real showstopping presentation as well as being absolutely delicious. Please report after your meal!

          1. re: Joe H

            also looking forward to your review of L'Ane Rouge!

            1. re: ChefJune

              me too - I am in Nice for a week in early July and I am planning on hitting the email shortly

              BTW, is chevre d'or easily accessible from nice by public transport or (last resort) our little scooter?

        2. re: Joe H

          I just wanted to comment that my husband and I had the boulibasse at L'Ane Rouge on our recent honeymoon to Nice on Joe's recommendation. We thought it was fantastic. The broth was unique, muddy, and amazing with the croutons, saffron aioli, and cheese. And we were served around 12 different types of fish, although all were served at the same time. Our meal lasted about 3 hours . . . and I can't imagine it lasting any longer as we were beyond stuffed by the time we left.

          In my opinion this is a "must do" experience in Nice. The wait staff was great, the food was excellent, the wine list was fairly priced, and I will never forget that boulibasse.

          1. re: LaWiz

            Thank you, LaWiz! I thank you for trusting my recommendation and sharing an experience that now, 18 months later, I still miss very badly. I make bouillibasse myself including making my own fume with frames and heads but, honestly, mine is not as good as L'Ane Rouge. The broth really did look "muddy," didn't it? Unlike any bouillibasse broth that I've had on this side of the Atlantic.

            Thanks again and congratulations on your marriage!


            1. re: LaWiz

              I am so glad to hear you had a wonderful meal there, LaWiz. Next time you go, try the Bourride. ;)

          2. Last night ate at Flaveur in Nice ( Using only Freshest Ingredients, we felt welcome and enjoyed this mix of world cusine French style. Xavier makes a wonderful host and waiter!! Don't miss the wonderful place in Nice.

            1. OK we are one night away from bouillibasse night, just back from a fantastic cold seafood tower in Cannes- Is there a GREAT (or almost great) Chinese restaurant here in Nice???

              1. L'Ane Rouge Review- Ok, let me first off state this: We had an 8:00 pm reservation and its 10:50 and we're home. So much for a four hour dinner. We got to the restaurant at 8 and were sat in an empty dining room at the primo marina view table. They had our reservation no problem and we were prompted to order the house special drink which we accepted. And then......the menus came. They "didn't hear" we ordered the boulibasse, and didn't have it. Until I made a little noise and the matre 'd came along, went into the kitchen and VOILA, they had it.....said it would take a little time, but we were prepared for a four hour no problem. They brought us a couple of amuse bouche, which were really good, and then the first course of the unbelieveable broth and the three accompiments...Then a fish platter of five prepared, and put into the broth,,, and we had a couple of portions of that...and don't get me wrong, that was really really good, but THAT WAS IT.. not twelve fish, not six fish, not four hours. Good food, not great, and including wine and coffee, 250 euro!!!! Frankly, and let me be clear, this was just our experience tonight, NOT WORTH IT....not even close. Yes they charged us 70 Euro each for dinner....what a rip off!! Our main waiter knew this and let the matire d bring us the check...he was too embarrassed. We told them...if you couldn't do the dinner, make us something else......and they insisted......LET THE BUYER BEWARE,,,,off to Rome tomorrow, and very disappointed!!! Sorry folks, I expected MUCH BETTER!!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: sockster

                  In Rome you definitely should go to Dal Bolognese on Piazza del Poppolo. It is a chic place where the food actually lives up to the hype. Very very good food. Also if wine is your thing Trimani wine bar is fun and they have good food.

                  1. re: sockster

                    Wow! I cannot tell you how sorry I am. There should have been 12 different fish-my guess is that they decided to "improvise" with the fish they had and that is what they served. The night we were there at least two other tables asked to be served the same and they were told no, that they didn't have the fish to be able to do this. Several other people from the tradeshow we attended also went on our recommendation and had outstanding experiences similar to ours'. And, yes, they had specified the traditional bouillibasse when they made their reservation.. But this was 16 months ago. And this-to me-would matter very little if I were in your position. I am sorry. Really sorry for such a horrible disappointment.

                    1. re: Joe H


                      I'm so sorry to hear of your misfortune at L'Ane Rouge. I lunched there in 2003 with a group of 28, on a tour. Lunch was good but not great or unforgettable, something to be expected when a meal for a large group is prepared ahead of time, but the executive chef came out to chat with us, and was most gracious. I fail to recall his name, but he is surely an honorable man, committed to his craft.

                      I have been awaiting your review for days, eagerly, after reading the glowing review of L'Ane Rouge's bouillabaisse posted some time ago. I hope to go there and enjoy it myself.

                      I hope that you write to L'Ane Rouge at your convenience and express your disappointment, with details. I would hope that they would make you whole, invite you to return at their expense, something like that. It sounds like someone at the front of the house forgot to communicate your advance request to the chefs.

                  2. Listen- I travel enough to know that sometimes stuff happens. To me, the big disappointment was that they insisted they make the dish,,,,and when I questioned him about the "12" fish, he said, no, tonight we make it with five...he knew I knew he was improvising...and basically didn't care. I really think they did it because it wasn't busy and they needed the expensive covers. But in response to Greg in Chicago, I do intend to write them; we'll see what happens...Thanks for your support,

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: sockster

                      well, I am planning to visit them in July and my visit hangs on whether you get a satisfactory response.

                      1. re: mr_gimlet

                        I sent them a lengthy email far no response. I will keep you posted.

                        1. re: sockster

                          As of reply...I think they just don't care :-(

                          1. re: sockster

                            <As of reply...I think they just don't care :-(>

                            Maybe that is not the case. Did you write your letter in French? Many French people SPEAK English, but do not read or write it well, if at all.

                            When I wrote my thesis (in English), my mentor, the Culinary Dean of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, had his wife translate it into French so that he could REALLY read and understand it. He speaks English very well, but told me he does not understand very well, especially our colloquial expressions that we so take for granted.

                            It is also possible they are busy, and it will take a little time before they can respond properly (especially so if they need help in translating).

                            It is also possible your email got lost in cyberspace. I would try sending a hard copy via express mail.

                            1. re: ChefJune

                              I agreed with your reply until just now. The reply just came in and I post it cut and pasted here. After this reply, I am bowing out. I've made my decision, you all can make yours. Here is the reply from the owner:

                              Dear Mr Robert
                              i thank you for your mail ,
                              i apologize about your bouillabaisse booking
                              i feel sorry to learn that you did'nt apreciate our "Bouillabaisse"
                              in fact this dish is served in 2 ways
                              first the fish soup (prepared with 12 different rock fishes)
                              and the main course wich is prepared with 4/5 fishes (depends what our fisherman bring to us)
                              best regards

                              1. re: sockster

                                That is simply not true. I am sorry that you've had such a disappointing experience.

                                1. re: Joe H

                                  I totally agree with you...but you saw the reply I received directly from the owner...cocky sort of guy I guess...

                                  1. re: Joe H

                                    Not only not true, but very disappointing that they shrugged it off like that. Bad on them! 8(

                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                      I agree....If any of you are going to Rome, let me know. I have four or five new finds I can share with you.