Like Le Bistrot Gourmand, Aux Bons Enfants, 80 Rue Meynadier, was another Cannes restaurant the Daily Telegraph recommended in 2015.

We added it to our list of places to eat in June 2015.

(Photo credit: Justacoté)

Potential diners should be aware that Aux Bons Enfants has a CASH ONLY policy.

The management does not accept credit cards, debit cards or cheques. Unfortunately, there is no mention of this at all at the restaurant’s entrance or on the menus.

In addition to the inconvenience, this type of policy raises suspicions with some French and Italian customers.

Right or wrong, it might result in lower prices. At €90 for two, wine included, it was our cheapest dinner.

Another factor in more reasonable prices is the fact that the family owns the premises.

Luc Giorsetti runs Aux Bons Enfants, which has been in business since 1935. His grandparents, Marie and Constant, made it a local landmark featuring regional specialities. In the late 1960s, Luc’s father Romain continued in his parents’ footsteps. He retired only a few years ago. Some families have been dining at Aux Bons Enfants for over three generations, each one passing the tradition down to the next.

Food is sourced locally, particularly from the nearby Marché Forville.

Reservations for dinner are strongly recommended. Whilst one cannot telephone Aux Bons Enfants, their website has a page allowing one to reserve by email. As the restaurant opens for lunch, it is also easy enough to stop by in the afternoon and book a table.

Another point to note is that the tables are spaced very closely together. This might be a good or a bad thing, depending on who is sitting next to you! The night we went — a Friday — two Cannes Lions sat next to us on the terrace. Our fragmented conversation did not change my negative impressions of two years ago. They were arrogant and elitist. My late grandmother-in-law, a born and bred Londoner, would have said: ‘They’re no better than they ought to be!’

Inside, Aux Bons Enfants is charming, although patrons will still be sitting cheek by jowl. Family pictures are everywhere, lending a pleasant, nostalgic atmosphere.

Service is adequate, at times perfunctory. Trip Advisor has a number of reviews from local French people and some Italians who objected to the manner of the wait staff.

That said, the food at Aux Bons Enfants is excellent. The prix fixe menu offers three courses with something for everyone.

SpouseMouse and I started with a succulent daube de poulpes comme à Marseille — octopus stew Marseille style. It comes in little cast iron Staub pots with lids. This is perfect for those who are curious about octopus. The stew, prepared with a red wine sauce, has equal proportions of octopus chunks and diced potatoes. The octopus is unctuous. It melts in the mouth. Interestingly, in that preparation it tastes like veal. Therefore, it is perfect for meat eaters looking for a seafood sensation!

For our main courses, SpouseMouse was very happy with the bavette de veau (veal) grillée. Bavette is comparable to a sirloin tip cut. The Giorsettis turned a less expensive cut of meat into a tender, memorable dish. The beignets d’aubergines which accompanied the bavette were generous pieces of deep-fried lightly-battered eggplant.

I had espadon grillé, which was the best swordfish I’d ever tasted. It had just enough texture but, unlike swordfish I’ve had elsewhere, was neither dense nor heavy. I could have eaten in quite happily the next day! The tomates à la provençale I’d ordered as a side dish complemented the fish perfectly.

SpouseMouse had a respectable tarte au citron for dessert, though not as good as Le Bistrot Gourmand‘s. I enjoyed a satisfying cheese assortment which came with a lightly dressed salad.

Our rosé was Domaine de Jale ‘Les Fenouils’ (‘The Fennels’), which was delightful.

We will be returning to Aux Bons Enfants on our next trip and look forward to sampling more from one of Cannes’ most traditional menus. However, we shall book a table for a Tuesday or Wednesday, when we hope it will be less busy.

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