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Any current recommendations for Nice?


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If La Merenda is open for lunch, it's news to me.

 

Roberto Roberto Roberto ! What am I going to do with you !

You are one heck of a good professor but one heck of a lousy researcher.

 

And you were joking about living in Nice, right ? Or did you just move there within the last couple of weeks ?

 

Anyway, I got some news for ya ...

 

Just two days ago ...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187234-d1129404-r289742624-La_Merenda-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

 

More than 2 to the 10th days ago ...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187234-d1129404-r88030970-La_Merenda-Nice_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence.html#REVIEWS

 

This lunch thang ain't some new phenomenon, Roberto !

And before you even start yelping that TripAdvisor is just a trap ...

 

Please search for lunch within, Roberto ... you'll find people yelping about lunch last month ... and yelping about lunch over 8 years ago ...

http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-merenda-nice-2

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I'm in the vicinity of Nice (Villefranche-sur-Mer) for another couple of weeks and am looking for good, local (non-starred) restaurant recommendations. Most restaurants here in town are closed for the

Why are you guys trapsing around nice arguing over whether some place serves lunch when all the cool kids in their common projects are hiking from arbois to pupillin to throw back savignin in bornard's basement and discussing the finer points of ullage while drinking 1972 tissot over coq au vin jaune at la balance? You're better than this.

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  • 9 months later...

Lunch in Eze Village today. What should I order?

 

Given the timing, it looks like I'm a little late for what's on the plate ...

 

So at this point in the game, given my writing style and your musical leanings, how about you order a Hot Air Balloon for the ladies in your life, hover it over the Med, take pics of la Chevre and then head in land a bit because tis the season to be seeing Strawberry Fields Forever !

 

 

 

 

(P.S. by the way, mitchells, I'm giving you a heads up now that when I get a chance I'm gonna be seriously whooping your [you know what] until it's bright red in that other "absolutely fabulous thread". you are now officially worse than p as far as treating "my house" as YOUR Chowhound Central ! (and you were warned NOT TO DO SO in the bottom half of that linked-to post) . you shall regret it :) )

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Hate to burst your balloon Chambo but it was so windy today the birds weren't even flying. Nice lunch in Eze Village. Ridiculous view and the asparagus with poached egg, duck foie gras ravioli, see bass and spaghetti and clams weren't bad either. Why does rose wine taste so good here? Took a spin thru Monte Carlo and Cannes but I much prefer the laid back vibe of Cap Ferrat. Gonna stay poolside tomorrow with a hangover from doing several shots with the bartender tonight.

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Hate to burst your balloon Chambo ...

 

You're gonna burst my bubble, mitchells ? Don't be absurd. My bubble is just like my writing style ... they're both impenetrable.

 

Now let's get serious ...

 

Merci Chambo. Having lunch in Eze tomorrow. Hoping the winds die down s bit.

 

it was so windy today the birds weren't even flying.

 

Hmmm ... I have a sneaky suspicion that the married mr. mitchells has been flirting with Mr Mistral for the last couple of days dans le sud de la France. Is that possible, mitchells ? If so, my advice would be to just come out and admit it and tell the ladies all about it. That's the only honorable way to deal with such a situation. Here's the facts ... it's Springtime, love is in the air and these provençal winds can unexpectedly catch you by surprise in Montpelier and they can build up into a roar and roar into the Gulf of Lion. It's happened to us all. (And just so you know, Chambo is not one to judge how you opt to handle this situation. I fully understand and appreciate that life AND human relationships are complicated, mysterious and sometimes they're just which ever way the wind blows. If you decide to come out and tell them (or us) about all this, I'm behind you 100% ! )

 

And if it starts to rain on your parade, don't go out without your imperméable ! (a little French never hurt anybody)

 

Nice lunch in Eze Village. Ridiculous view and the asparagus with poached egg, duck foie gras ravioli, see bass and spaghetti and clams weren't bad either.

 

I must admit that I was a little worried about you eating in Eze.

 

If one read this post carefully, one may have noticed that I DID NOT say to eat at le Château de La Chèvre d’Or but I did recommend seeing it because the place is extremely charming and the view from the dining room is indeed extraordinary. Nor did I say to avoid eating there ... I simply didn't know and I didn't know that chef and the fact that he would have worked at LeNôtre at that point in his career is worrying to me ... but I'm the type to worry.

 

And I wouldn't dare say anything bad about it just in advance of your meal, knowing that you weren't going to modify your plans.

 

I see what you ate, mitchells, and understand that it wasn't bad, but how was it ? How was it compared to your other French meal ? And here is the real question ... if in the area again, would you consider going back ?

 

You see, there was a moment in time when La Chèvre d’Or was high up on my TO EAT list ... an enormously long list indeed.

 

Many here know the name Didier Elena. Many here did not know that he is originally from Monaco. He was the former chef at the 3* ADNY, Ducasse's claim to fame in NYC once upon a time. In 2005, Elena was at Les Crayères in the Champagne region (Reims, to be exact) and then he left and went to La Chèvre d’Or, arriving in late 2009 but this of course is old news to all of us because I reported diligently on that very subject back in 2010.

 

But what happened right after he went to Eze and the real reason(s) for his rapid departure become quite unclear. I had researched this at the time and talked to people. Didn't get any clear answers. It made no sense to me that he would leave Reims to go to Eze and then leave Eze so unexpectedly and so rapidly after arrival. He was actually in Eze for maybe six months ... and he was from Monaco after all and was supposedly "happy to be home". Next thing you know, Elena was back on the NYC scene at Ducasse's now-long-gone Adour. The only thing that I will say about my looking into this situation is that I got a shocking insight into the power that Ducasse wields globally in the high-end restaurant world and his ability to impose his will ... and make and break careers at will.

 

Last I heard Elena was doing some strange thing with rotating chefs in Aspen and then New York but that was a couple of years ago and seemed very unusual to me.

 

It’s interesting how that old ADNY team dispersed and settled in the south of France.

 

I randomly met a few of the ADNY FOH players at l'Oustau de Baumanière dans les Baux a few years ago. These tuxedo-ed alum told me that the Oustau chef then was none other than Sylvestre Wahid* who was Elena's 2nd at ADNY. Ahhhh, nothing like a reunion of old NYC friends en Provence ! They took good care of me and further told me that Armand Arnal has been commandeering the kitchen at La Chassagnette dans la Camargue (just south of Arles) since 2006. Arnal, a man from Montpelier, was Wahid's right-hand man at ADNY, so I said pourquoi pas and immediately made a beeline into the wilderness of the Camargue. Arnal is a star there and La Chassagnette is without a doubt the place to eat in the Camargue … which is a beautiful place with their famous wild white horses and salt dunes and sand dunes and makes for an interesting day trip from Arles.

 

mitchells, note that you passed right near Les Baux de Provence when transiting from the Verchant.

 

Did you like the Verchant ? Would you go back ? Better or worse than where you are now ?

 

* Wahid has recently installed himself in Paris, and is cooking upstairs at the Thoumieux at his self-named 2* Mich resto named Restaurant Sylvestre. Wahid replaced Piège there. Piège moved on to attempt to snatch 3* on his own at his Le Grand Restaurant ... and Piège is in a piège cuz he's gonna have to seriously up his game quite a bit to get all three ... or so says Chambo. :)

 

 

Why does rose wine taste so good here?

 

For similar reasons that txakoli seems to taste good near Getaria ... but in txakoli's case, it's not really good anywhere other than the Basque. What did a glass of txakoli cost ya in the Bastard's tapas places, mitchells ? 1.20e ? 1.80e ?

 

(pssst pssst, hey mitchells, keep your voice down, but are you gonna break the sad news to her that all-in she paid 10x Getaria retail for that bottle ? ... or am I gonna have to be the bad boy from the Bastard ... as usual ... ... ... and let it be known that if she had just apologized to p back then, then I would have left her in peace but she opted to provoke me instead ... bad move, Sue )

 

A bottle of txakoli went well with everything.

 

 

And mitchells, you weren't totally clear below !!!

 

Yes, made a pit stop in Castelnau Le Lez. Thought it would be nice to hang poolside on a vineyard for a day and drink Rose from the vines a few meters from the pool.

 

I thought you were just enjoying a glass and liking the view.

I had no idea at that point that you were totally getting into it !

 

And then only the next day do you come out and tell you fell in love with rosé. You gotta trust me and tell me these things IN ADVANCE, mitchells. If I knew it was LOVE back then I would have tweaked your transit and suggested that you do one of your famous pit stops in Bandol. You kinda went right past her !

 

That's ground zero for great rosé. I’ve been to all the top domaines there. Would have set you up to taste at Tempier who makes "real" rosé. It's quite delish and in fact it's more "wine" than "rosé" and that's a good thing ! It's not some light, refreshing poser who's only pretty in pink and has no depth and character. And Tempier's reds are very good too but they do require many years to reach their tasty potential.

 

If you see a bottle of Tempier rosé chez un caviste, buy it and try it. You may like it, mitchells.

And if you do so, tell me what it goes for down there ? I’m curious cuz I paid 24e at a Paris place last summer (whose prices are kinda high) but it was hot out that mid-July day and I was seriously thirsty, so it's pretty obvious that they had me in a terrible, terrible bind. But I didn't pay 10x retail ... oh God no ! Could you imagine :o

 

 

Gonna stay poolside tomorrow with a hangover from doing several shots with the bartender tonight.

 

Alright enough of this shit, mitchells, I'm probably giving you a headache by now ... and if you do have one then I’ll leave you with the local’s cure …
A couple of bottles of pastis before breakfast and you'll be as good as new !
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Your point re: Chèvre d'or is well taken. While everything was excellent a fair amount of the price for the excellence is for the setting. So no, I probably would simply go for a drink next time. But I don't in any way regret our choice for lunch. And the bottle of "Love" Rose from Provence went for 70 euros.

 

Domaine du Verchant is s lovely place that I would definitely recommend. You are met at the entrance by a suited staff member who walks you thru the gated entrance to hotel reception. Luxurious accommodations and he pool and spa are gorgeous with both overlooking the vineyard. The lounge and casual restaurant are South Beach cool without the attitude. Excellent cocktails. Chambo, I think you'll like this place!

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Since you're near my old stomping at the Savoy grounds, I want to put in a good word for Franchin on one of the pedestrian streets in Nice. Where else these days can you find crepes Suzette? The interior is vintage, authentic style Art Deco. The food is the way it used to be. Antoine the chef is young and a native of Nice. I found it last winter just when I had given up all hope for the Nice restaurant situation. Mark my words and mark it down.

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I should have taken your advice. A disappointing dinner at Jan in Nice. Not that anything was bad, but nothing special and felt the kitchen tries too hard with unusual combinations and platings. Very surprised they have a Michelin star. Had a superior dinner at our hotel the night before. With better service.

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Some pics from Les Remparts at the Chateau Chevre d'or. Something to do once when the weather is nice. Lunch on the terrace is truly spectacular.

 

Eggplant with vegetables was Spring on a Plate

 

26188573213_4b117348ab_z.jpg

 

Asparagus with a poached egg served with parmigiana cream

 

26698695382_6c508d9cf7_z.jpg

 

Also oysters which were nice and cold and fresh and an excellent rendition of spaghetti with clams.

 

And the view from our table

 

26698700832_1f28063197_z.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took a spin thru Monte Carlo and Cannes but I much prefer the laid back vibe of Cap Ferrat.

 

Sure I get that, mitchells, but it all depends when.

 

You like chasing skirt ? You into movie stars ? You gonna pop over solo for the festival or not ?

 

It's the 69th annual. Should be a good time.

 

If you pop over I'll pop down ... if you want me to bring babes, I'll bring babes, just tell me ... but sand beach you know

 

You a romantic ? What's your thoughts on comedy ?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/movies/in-cannes-woody-allen-is-asked-about-everything-but-accusations.html

 

I want to put in a good word for Franchin on one of the pedestrian streets in Nice.

 

Thanks for that tip, Bobby !

 

I'm going to pass it along to Mario and he is going to be LOVING ME even more (if possible) for offering up such Nice information.

 

Do you know Mario Cordero ?

 

Mario spends molto time in Nice or so he told me and when I told him that I know all of France like the back of my hand and could help him out non-stop from La Cote d'Azur to the capital city, that sure got his attention.

 

He's a serious gourmand and he was duly impressed and started opening more and more bottles in a very impressive attempt to extract even more crucial resto info from sweet, little Chambo.

 

As expected I played it close to the vest and very hard to get ... because I'm no dummy. This all happened less than a handful of months ago ...

 

... but I'm going to have to finish the story elsewhere before I head any further off-topic ... because I prefer to be on-point if at all possible.

 

If you don't know Mario then you probably don't have any idea what I'm talking about right now but I can solve that soon.

 

So stay tuned ... and be ready to be back "in the zone" in a few days ...

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Cannes is in the news every single day this week !

 

The world press is covering it closely ... even Hollywood is taking a big interest ... and the key question is the following :

 

Can you buy 5 minute "experience" ... or not ?

 

American puritanism will now rear its ugly head ... for those types are unusually fit to judge everyone and anything that they disapprove of.

 

But in Old Europe this is indeed the topic du jour where drinking a coffee doesn't even last 2 minutes.

 

You gonna pop over solo for the festival or not ?

 

mitchells, you coming or not ?

 

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