Flaveur, Nice, 10/21/17

exterior
exterior

Flaveur is a fairly small place, seating about 20,  with a very styled and pretty bright interior .  It is striking but a lot of hard surfaces that could make the noise level high in addition to the soft background music.  Steel and wood cutouts decorate the room in various patterns, one being a fish skeleton.  The small tables are nicely spaced and appointed with a runner rather than a full cloth but a wonderfully large napkin.  Service is friendly and helpful but some of the pacing is a bit slow, probably to folks like me who ask a lot of questions and our waiter never rushed us off.  But trust me, the food is worth waiting for.  The menu is a tasting one and you can pick 3, 4 or 7 courses.  Wine pairings are available.  We chose the 4 course and selected our own bottle of wine. Continue reading

Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à L’Hôtel De Paris, Monaco, 10/21/17

hotel
hotel

Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse in à L’Hôtel De Paris is a 3 star Michelin restaurant.  While the hotel is undergoing renovation the restaurant is in a temporary location, but if you didn’t know that you’d never guess, as the room is decorated in an elegant modern decor.  This spot will eventually become a breakfast and lunch restaurant which seems perfect as the doors from it lead onto the lovely terrace and ocean view.  One interesting feature, besides the well spaced tables and comfortable leather seating, was the large oval shaped linen napkin. Service is attentive without being intrusive and as chatty as you desire, with most speaking perfect English.  At lunch there is an a la carte menu, and of course the ladies menu’s don’t have prices, and a 4 course lunch special with an option of 2 glasses of wine for 30 euros. As there were 2 choices for 3 of the courses we were able to try a number of their dishes at a reasonable price point.  As expected with this caliber restaurant your dining experience will also include lots of off-the-menu items.   Continue reading

Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 10/20/17

hotel
Hotel Metropole

Joël Robuchon is a 2 star Michelin restaurant in the Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo.  The hotel is elegant with a wealth of expensive cars dropping off their passengers for the hotel or dining.  The formal dining room is beautiful and filled with people, as the best deal for this expensive place is at lunch.  At lunch they offer 3 different size tastings, that all include amuse-bouche and dessert but vary with either 1 to 2 starters for 1 -2 main courses and the inclusion of coffee or tea.  In each you pick what you want for from their lists of cold or hot starters, main courses and dessert (always the dessert trolley) or cheese.  It is a good system so you can pretty much tailor you menu to your wants.   Continue reading

Restaurant JAN, Nice, 10/19/17

exterior
exterior

Restaurant JAN seats only 24 people with a South African chef that uses local ingredients.  It has been in business for 5 years and 2 years ago received a Michelin star.  The room is tasteful with small tables that are appointed with large lovely napkins and soft eclectic music plays in the background.  Staff is friendly and helpful.  It is a choice of 2 tasting menus (12 or 5 courses) at dinner and a 3 course menu is also offered only at lunch.   Continue reading

La Palme d’Or, Cannes, 10/19/17

exterior
exterior

La Palme D’Or is a 2 star Michelin in the lovely Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez.  There is a separate door and elevator to access the restaurant or you can get there from the hotel lobby.  Cannes is a short train ride from Nice, if you do not wish to stay there. We were there for lunch on a beautiful day and so were treated to a terrance seat overlooking the stunning beach, blue water and multiple yachts view.  I’m not generally an outdoor seating lover but this would change anybody’s mind.  Not a bug, a wonderful breeze and a great canopy for shade perfectly compliment the view.  Service is most attentive and helpful as well as friendly.  The menu is presented in the form of a cube with the various tasting menu options on each of the 6 sides and a pullout page of a la carte options.   Continue reading

Mauro Colagreco, Restaurant Mirazur, Menton, 10/18/17

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entrance

Mirazur is a 2 star Michelin place on a hillside in Menton, a short train ride from Nice and within shouting distance of the Italian border.  The restaurant is on the second story of a building that overlooks the water and hillside – a beautiful backdrop for the stunning food by chef Mauro Colagreco.  If you’re lucky you will snag one of the tables that sit aside these windows but the interior tables also can enjoy the view, it just seemed less dramatic.  The first floor has a small bit of kitchen, bathrooms and some more lounge type seating where you can enjoy coffee or after dinner drinks if you prefer.  Buenos Aires born Chef Mauro Colagreco opened Mirazur in 2006 and received his first Michelin star just one year later.  The second star was awarded in 2012.  They are open for lunch and dinner but do close for a winter break.  They offer a number of different tastings varying the number of courses included and you select which you want when you make your reservation.  Service was attentive and friendly.   Continue reading

Le Chantecler, Nice, 10/17/17

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entrance

Le Chantecler is located in the elegant Le Negresco Hotel.  It is an ornate dining room off the heavily decorated lobby and was recently re-done in shades of pink and green. As the name means “rooster” there are many examples of rooster art in the room.  Only 16 tables are very well spaced in the quiet and well lit room.  They offer a small a la carte menu as well as several tasting menus.  We chose the Discovery Menu which is a surprise but they were nice enough to provide me with a printed menu at the end of the evening.  Service is formal and old school (ladies menus have no prices) but friendly and anxious meet your every need.  Pacing was spread out, so if you’re in a rush definitely let them know.  The wine list is a huge book but didn’t seem to have that many choices but it was possible to get affordable local bottles of wine.

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hotel entrance
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hotel lobby
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hotel lobby
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hotel lobby
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lobby sign
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dining room
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dining room
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table set up
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Frankie and the table flower
menu cover
menu cover
About Chantecler
About Chantecler
a la carte menu
a la carte menu
Discovery Menu
Discovery Menu
Grand Menu Signature
Grand Menu Signature
Chantecler Tasting Menu
Chantecler Tasting Menu

 

Amuse bouche included cauliflower and garlic on a cheese biscuit (nice bite, biscuit was great), black pudding and apple in crust (okay) and foie gras on toast (good).

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amuse bouche
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closer
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closer
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closer
Frankie liked the rooster
Frankie liked the rooster

 

Bread service included parmesan, cranberry and multi-seed.   The parmesan roll was a bit dry and not as buttery as it looked.  The multi seed had a very crisp exterior and lots of seed flavors.  The cranberry was my favorite with a dense chewy interior studded with tart berries and a nice exterior.

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bread tray
stamped butter
stamped butter
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wine
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wine

 

The last amuse bouche was a mushroom ravioli with sage which was interestingly served at room temperature.  The pasta was fairly thick which made it seem tough.  It had only mild flavor.

amuse - mushroom ravioli
amuse – mushroom ravioli
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closer
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Frankie found an orchid

 

Our Discovery Menu tasting started with a new dish: scallops two ways, roasted with mashed Jerusalem artichoke and salsify and as carpaccio with citrus jelly. The carpaccio was cold with chilies, vegetables, sliced egg and French caviar. The caviar was briny and the jelly dots mildly flavored.  The scallop slices were tender and sweet.  The toasted scallop was warm with sea beans on top and Jerusalem artichoke purée under and around it.  The two tastes worked well together and this one was my favorite of the 2 preparations.

Scallops roasted, with mashed Jerusalem artichoke and salsify, carpaccio with citrus jelly
Scallops roasted, with mashed Jerusalem artichoke and salsify, carpaccio with citrus jelly
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closer
closer
closer

 

Dover Sole with spinach was served with glazed salfify.  The fish was a tad overcooked but the salsify was quite nice and perfectly cooked.  This was a mild dish and not in the winner column.

Dover sole with spinach. Glazed salsifi.
Dover sole with spinach. Glazed salsifi.
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closer
under foam
under foam
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Frankie made friends with a rooster

 

Another new dish was on our menu, Roasted Mallard duck with honey,  spices and winter vegetables.  It was served nicely rare with the honey giving it a fragrant perfume.   Crispy quince and  Swede (yellow/orange turnips) were served with the tasty bird.  The breast meat was among the best I’ve had with not a hint of livery taste.  The turnips were predictably bitter but the quince was a nicely sweet foil for it.  This was a great dish.

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formal service
Roasted mallard duck with honey and spices, winter vegetables
Roasted mallard duck with honey and spices, winter vegetables
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closer
another angle
another angle
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Frankie played on the glasses

 

A selection from the Matured cheeses by Mr. Bordier in Saint-Malo was next.  Our choices were accompanied by a delicious grapefruit/orange marmalade.  It really accented the cheeses well and made the course special.

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cheese cart
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even the marmelade is shaped into an oval
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one cheese selection
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one cheese selection

 

Kaki fruit (like a persimmon) perfumed with Madagascar vanilla, an olive oil biscuit, nuts and honey made up the first dessert.  The ice cream was nicely smooth and the fruit and honey were a sufficient sweet fix but it didn’t rate a yum.

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wine
Kaki fruit perfumed with Madagascar vanilla, olive oil biscuit and honey.
Kaki fruit perfumed with Madagascar vanilla, olive oil biscuit and honey.
Frankie liked the little reminder of where she is
Frankie liked the little reminder of where she is
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closer
inside biscuit and topping
inside biscuit and topping

 

The second dessert was a Solliés (near Marseille) fig that had been roasted with earl grey and served with 67% dark chocolate cream and crunchy walnuts. It was nice but not a strongly flavored fig.  The crunchy ring it was perched on, and filled with chocolate ganache, was actually the better part of the dish.

Sollies fig roasted with earl grey, 67% dark chocolate cream, crunchy wlanuts
Sollies fig roasted with earl grey, 67% dark chocolate cream, crunchy walnuts
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closer
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inside
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Frankie was fascinated with the tassel

 

Lest you leave unsatisfied the dessert cart then arrives at your table.  Filled with chocolates, fruit, nut, chewy, crisp and creamy options.  We tried a sampling but none stood out in memory, although all were beautifully presented.

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dessert cart
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dessert cart
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other side
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dessert choices
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dessert choices
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menu for that evening
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Our great wait team Laurent and Maurad with Frankie