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10 day trip to Nice, Cannes, Monaco and Belgrade, Serbia

s
SocksManly Sep 24, 2012 12:15 AM

I'll likely only get two or three nice dinners in during my trip, but I just got a new job and I want to make it something to remember. Travelling with coworkers and friends, I'm from Toronto, Canada.

The place I've found that looks most intriguing so far is Louis XV in Monte Carlo. I've been to Monte Carlo once before, and the place looks amazing. Certainly a once in your lifetime experience, crazy expensive.

What are my other once in a lifetime kind of options?

  1. Delucacheesemonger Sep 24, 2012 01:43 AM

    When l was at Louis XV a while back, l still remember the wines and the room, the foods have eluded me , however.
    Nothing as lush but Flaveur in Nice l really liked.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
      Parigi Sep 24, 2012 01:56 AM

      On such a short trip, why would one want to go back to Monaco? Is it for work?
      Am another fan of Flaveur, which keeps getting better too.

    2. b
      BrianGilligan Sep 24, 2012 11:34 AM

      For me the Louis XV is amazing. It does depend on what you like though, as some visitors seem to be a bit underwhelmed. The room is pure luxury, and the service is very attentive and correct. Foodwise, there is nothing molecular, sous vide etc. Platings are traditional - your fish will be taken off the bone or your meat carved, sauced and plated at your table. There are no challenging flavour combinations. The quality of ingredients is extremely high, and they are perfectly prepared. The lunch is a relative bargain at €140 for three courses plus a cheese course, bottle of wine between two, water and coffee (plus amuse, mignardises etc.). In summary, if you want fireworks and surprises don't spend your money here, otherwise it's great.
      La Palme D'Or offers a similar style lunch at half the price in Cannes. It is very enjoyable, but not in the same league as the Louis XV. It's more of a once a year type experience than a once in a lifetime treat.
      If you want somewhere glitzy and expensive, La Reserve in Beaulieu will certainly fit that bill. I haven't eaten there, only had a cocktail. It might be a grave injustice to the place, but it looked to me to be more a place for rich people than food lovers.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BrianGilligan
        beaulieu Sep 24, 2012 10:52 PM

        La Réserve de Beaulieu is certainly a luxury restaurant in a luxury hotel, but it succeeds in this much better than the Louis XV, as it does not get the global celebrity press and attracts a more traditional crowd. The cuisine at La Réserve is excellent, relying on luxury ingredients prepared very well. Many people, particularly the younger generations, are not comfortable in this ambience and mistakenly say it is not for food lovers.

        1. re: beaulieu
          Parigi Sep 25, 2012 02:10 AM

          I love La Réserve, the food, the service, the setting.
          It's not even fair to mention the setting. It is in a corner of the Riviera that has been largely unchanged since FScott Fitzgerald's time, the very opposite of Louis XV's eyesore of a Monaco.

          A very funny thing happened to me at La Réserve. As though it had not broken our bank enough, when we got home and looked at the credit card records, we found La Réserve had charged us an extra menu.
          Gulp.
          We called the resto, the mistake was immediately rectified after profuse apologies, LOL.

          1. re: Parigi
            b
            BrianGilligan Sep 25, 2012 05:59 AM

            I'm not comparing Monaco and Beaulieu or even Louis XV and La Reserve (I haven't eaten in La Reserve).
            I am wary of very expensive places and there's not much written about La Reserve. A few years ago I did a 1/2 day course at the Escoffier school in the Ritz hotel in Paris. One of the dishes they did was a Sea Bass dish that was served at the hotel restaurant for €110. When asked how this price was justified, the chef just shrugged and said "people pay it". It was a nice dish, but I would be sorely disappointed if I ordered it for that price.

            Beaulieu, when I was at La Reserve (early August) there were plenty of younger generation guests, and they all looked extremely comfortable :)

            Good to hear it is in fact worth a visit - it's now on the list for the next time I'm lucky enough to be in Beaulieu.

      2. l
        lemarais Sep 25, 2012 07:35 AM

        Well, "intriguing" is not a word that I would use to characterize Louis XV... and I think you are looking at the caricature of Monte Carlo, not reality. It is an over-touristed, highly congested and pretentious square mile loaded with high rise buildings that are basically a shock to the senses when on the Riviera...

        If you want a Michelin star experience, the above mentioned La Reserve or even Mirazur in Menton are preferable to Monte Carlo.

        But "once in a lifetime" is a tough criterion, perhaps a trip up to Ste Agnes, an incomparable setting, the "highest village on the coast", (I think it's 1000 meters) or dip into Liguria for the sweet Centro Storico of Bordighera and 2 wonderful restaurants, La Cicala and Magiarge. Personally, I never go to Monaco. Over hyped and overrated.

        7 Replies
        1. re: lemarais
          Parigi Sep 25, 2012 07:41 AM

          "Personally, I never go to Monaco. Over hyped and overrated."
          And butt-ugly. You forgot butt-ugly.

          1. re: Parigi
            l
            lemarais Sep 25, 2012 08:37 AM

            I DID though, say "shock to the senses". More comprehensive. :)

            1. re: Parigi
              j
              juliadevi Sep 25, 2012 10:29 AM

              +1

            2. re: lemarais
              s
              SocksManly Sep 25, 2012 06:53 PM

              Thanks, you seem to know a lot about the area, do you have say a top 3-5 restaurants within an hour's drive of Nice? We'll be spending most of our nights in Cannes and Nice. I'll look into the italian option you mentioned, seems like a good idea, I've never visited Italy before

              1. re: SocksManly
                l
                lemarais Sep 26, 2012 07:40 AM

                There is no "top", a very subjective category. There are scores of wonderful restaurants all over the Riviera. If you want to give some more criteria, that could narrow it down a bit.

                1. re: lemarais
                  s
                  SocksManly Sep 26, 2012 09:05 PM

                  Okay good point, so coming from Toronto one of the most multicultural cities in the world we have a lot of international/ethnic options here. So perhaps something distinctly European or local to the area would be good. I imagine you have a lot of fish in that region that I'd never get to try here. I love braised and slow cooked dishes. I don't care so much about presentation, I just want to put something in mouth and go wow.. that's.. wow.

                  I guess if I came away from this trip having ate at a really nice Italian restaurant that does things right and the same on the French side it would be really satisfying for me.

                  My idea or assumption of a michelin start restaurant is somewhere that doesn't cut corners and strives to approach perfection. For example this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lckYtO... from Ryugin in Tokyo.. The amount of effort and care that goes into that is inspirational.

                  1. re: SocksManly
                    beaulieu Sep 26, 2012 11:43 PM

                    It sounds like you need a real bouillabaisse. Go to Tétou in Golfe Juan, but only if everyone in your group will have bouillabaisse. Mirazur in Menton would also fit your description. For less exacting, but very good, local cuisine, try Luc Salsedo in Nice.

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