As I get older, and because I can cook reasonably well, I find dining out at restaurants tedious and generally rather unfulfilling. Tortuous service and barely adequate food are the order of the day, even in a country, France, that prides itself as the gourmet centre of the world.
I know Nice attracts a lot of tourists, but is there any excuse for a waiter sneezing at your table as he’s about to take your order, or for not clearing away the debris from the first course while your eating your second? I won’t name the restaurant, but it is one of Nice’s landmark seafood restaurants.
However for food that lifts the soul and satisfies the heart, look no further than the tiny, cash only, Cote Marais restaurant on Rue Du Pontin, in the old city of Nice. (Closed Wednesday). They have a three course ‘formule’ of around 6 starters and 6 main courses (TIP: avoid restaurants with huge extensive menus) which includes a special of the day for €31 (prices corect September 2009)
My wife and I dined here last year at the recommendation of another restaurateur and enjoyed it so much that we were anticipating our return, hoping that the food was still superb. We were not disappointed!
I started with the Scallops (Noix de Saint Jacques poelees, endives caramelisees), followed by the Filet de Boeuf (cooked medium, which would be medium rare to rare in any other country!) with dauphinoise potatoes and a beautiful jus. My wife had the entree du jour, which was a portion of pot au feu in aspic served with mayonnaise followed by several huge prawns with a delicate vanilla broth (Gambas sauvages a la veritable vanille) and pommes puree (mash to you and me). This was all washed down with a gorgeous bottle of 2006 Faugeres.
If you’re ever in Nice and fancy a night of sublime eating pleasure visit Cote Marais. Reservations are recommended as it fills up very quickly. Tel: 0033.4188.8.131.52.