You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘restaurants’ tag.

L’Assiette Provençale — The Provençal Plate — is a great little restaurant to visit in Cannes.

It is located along the Old Port at 9 quai Saint Pierre.

We first ate there in 2017, and again this year.

2017

We ordered their €30 prix fixe menu.

I noted in my food diary: ‘** WOULD RETURN **’.

Starters

One of our first food experiences in Cannes 20 years ago was enjoying stuffed courgette flowers dipped in tempura and deep fried.

Not many restaurants offer this memorable treat. The restaurant where we first had them, La Poêle d’Or (The Golden Skillet), closed a couple of years later. A luxury boutique replaced it.

Therefore, we relished the opportunity to enjoy them once again. We were not disappointed. They came with a light tomato sauce that, to me, was superfluous to requirements. Stuffed with a mild, soft cheese, they needed no accompaniment.

Mains

My far better half (FBH) ordered grilled Mediterranean sea bass — loup — on a bed of mini-canellonis: a perfect balance of textures.

I had sauteed octopus — poulpe — and artichoke slices. The plate had a generous quantity of both.

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of Cassis Bodin 2014. The domaine is run by the Abrizzi family in Cassis in the Var.

Dessert

We had a peek at the tarte au citron, but it looked like American lemon meringue pie, rather than the classic French version.

We declined in favour of a refreshing glass of limoncello.

2019

We could hardly wait to return.

We ordered from the €31 prix fixe menu. With wine, the bill came to €107.

Starters

I ordered the stuffed courgette flowers, which they term beignets, although they are far from being doughy beignets. They were light, hot and crispy up to the end. I did not bother with the tomato dipping sauce.

FBH was in a less summery mode that night and chose the royale des cèpes, a creamy, comforting mushroom concoction with cèpes as the star.

Mains

FBH ordered the roast guinea fowl breast, which came with a superb sauce and potatoes.

I had grilled loup, which was done perfectly.

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of Cassis from Domaine de la Ferme Blanche (€45).

Desserts

FBH liked the cheese assortment.

I loved the coconut crème brulée, which was a great discovery, and one that I would order again. It had just enough coconut for texture and flavour. It was delightfully creamy.

Additional notes

TripAdvisor members give L’Assiette Provençale 4.5 out of 5. Justifiably so.

These are the current prix fixe menus, which, at €26 and €31, offer terrific value for money.

Service is excellent.

The unisex loo is very clean, too.

Conclusion

We’re looking forward to another visit to L’Assiette Provençale on our next trip.

Advertisements

We eat at Le Pistou whenever we visit Cannes.

It is located at 53 Rue Félix Faure, right in the centre of town along with all the classic seafood restaurants.

Pistou is the Provençal version of pesto. Pistou lacks the pine nuts but makes up for it with more grated hard cheese.

We first had Le Pistou’s tasting menu, the menu dégustation — or, menu dég (their term) — in 2015.

What follows are our dinners there in 2017 and 2019.

2017 — first visit

We chose the €38 prix fixe menu.

Starters

My far better half (FBH) chose the foie gras mi-cuit (i.e. pâté, not lobe). It was a generous, thick slice. The foie gras was made in house.

I chose the jumbo shrimp — gambas — in tempura. They were sublime — crunchy to the last bite.

Mains

We both had the Mediterranean sea bass — filet de loup.

This is always beautifully plated. It comes with pea velouté (pea purée sauce), fine French green beans and two small boiled potatoes. The potatoes are turned; each side is peeled lengthwise for a total of seven sides. Peeled into a slim barrel shape, they look very elegant on the plate.

The loup was moist and flavoursome. This is always a winning dish.

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of Cassis: Clos d’Albizzi 2014. The estate, now run by F. Dumont, has been producing wine since 1523. Cassis has three grape varieties: marsanne, clairette and ugny blanc. The grapes are grown in the native Cassiden terroir, which adds a refreshing mineral taste. It was the perfect complement to our dinner.

Desserts

We both had their crème brulée with cinnamon.

It had just the right amount of cinnamon: enough for flavour but not overpowering.

2017 — second visit

We returned later during our stay for the seven-course menu dég, which we loved in 2015.

This has to be booked in advance. We made reservations a couple of days beforehand.

First course

We began with a delightful tian — i.e. a raised disc — of layered crab, sliced scallop and smoked salmon on a base of avocado. It was heavenly.

Second course

This was an amazing tarte tatin of diced apple and sautéed lobe of foie gras in puff pastry. Words cannot describe how unctuous this was.

Third course

We had lobster ravioli, probably three small ones — a perfect portion size.

The filling and the accompanying lobster sauce were perfect. However, the pasta could have been rolled out more thinly.

Fourth course

This was a palate cleanser: an apple and rum sorbet with plenty of rum. Delightful!

Fifth course

We had a generous fillet of beef with wild mushroom sauce. It came with creamy potatoes dauphinoise.

End of the road

Unfortunately, we could only eat half of the beef fillet.

We were so full by that time, that we were unable to proceed to the cheese course and dessert.

It took some explaining to the caring staff that the food was great, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

The bill, wine included, came to €174, which included the full price the menu dég: fair enough.

Wine

With our first two courses, we had Cassis: Clos d’Albizzi 2014 (as above).

With the next three courses we enjoyed a Bandol Rosé: Domaine des Baguiers 2013, which won a Medaille d’Or (Gold Medal) in Paris in 2016. The estate, located in Var, has been run by the Jourdan family for several generations.

2019

We put our menu dég defeat of 2017 down to our age. Obviously, our appetites are decreasing as the years advance.

However, we could not miss having a three-course dinner at Le Pistou.

Our bill came to €102.

As I noted in an earlier post last month, Rue Felix Faure has been pedestrianised. We found this somewhat disconcerting, as we were used to the recycling bins in the esplanade across the street. All of that has been removed. The traffic is gone. The levelled, new look esplanade took some getting used to.

Starters

Both of us enjoyed the gambas in tempura (see ‘2017 — first visit’ above).

Mains

One cannot have a more reliable course than the filet de loup (again, see ‘2017 — first visit’).

Wine

We enjoyed another bottle of Cassis, Clos d’Albizzi.

Dessert

FBH opted for the chocolate and vanilla millefeuille.

I could hardly wait to have the cinnamon crème brulée again. I was not disappointed!

Additional notes

Le Pistou’s website has their current menu. Their dishes are always reasonably priced, particularly with the prix fixe menu, and great value for money.

TripAdvisor has customer reviews. I particularly liked this one from 2018, excerpted:

Le Pistou’s menu is a bit more creative and so it stands out from the others on the street. Because the menu was so different, we ate there twice during our recent stay in Cannes and were not disappointed. We each had the €23.50 Menu du Marche. I had the Duet of asparagus and parma ham with pesto, mixed salad, roast quail and foie gras, I’m not sure that it held together as a coherent dish but the components were delicious. My wife had the avocado and crab salad and she loved it.

As a main course the monkfish and turbot duo was spectacular. As advertised, the sauce was a curry sauce but light enough that it didn’t overpower the delicate fish. The filet de loup in a pea sauce was didn’t impress me quite as much but was very good nonetheless. My wife loved the gambas and said that the daurade was excellent. Most of the fish dishes were served with a small portion of ratatouille.

Call me insane (my wife does) but for me des[s]ert is the least interesting part of a meal. Pistou’s roast pineapple and mango spring roll with two sorbets in a sauce flavoured with mandarine impériale was very creative and delicious.

Le Pistou has been good for years. With the current menu it moves out ahead of the others on the street. Well worth a visit.

If you’re ever in Cannes, don’t miss Le Pistou.

We first ate at La Brouette de Grand-mère — Grandma’s Wheelbarrow — in 2017, as it was away from the more touristy locations which attract musicians, flower-sellers and others in the evenings.

La Brouette de Grand-mère is located in a quiet street off Rue d’Antibes at 9B rue d’Oran. When walking down Rue d’Antibes away from the centre of town, look for an apartment block called Les Hespérides, which is on the corner of rue d’Oran, and turn left. The restaurant is at the end of the block.

This restaurant offers the best value for money. Portions are ample and alcoholic drinks are included. That said, the prices won’t be cheap enough to accommodate a student budget.

We have visited this family-run establishment twice.

2017

The prix fixe menu was €46 per person: €92 in total.

We ate indoors.

Starters

The waitress promptly served each of us a glass of champagne.

She quickly returned with a huge terrine dish of homemade pork farmhouse pâté (coarse, rather than smooth). It came with a carving board of saucisson (air-dried hard pork sausage), cornichons (gherkins) and bread. A side salad dressed in vinaigrette accompanied this, which included sliced mushrooms on top.

I know some people will have a problem cutting into a terrine dish from which others have served themselves. Well, we did not fall ill.

One diner wrote a review on TripAdvisor saying that he could not eat the whole contents! No, one is only supposed to cut off a slice!

It was good, something that one’s grandmother would serve.

Second course

The second course was a plate of smoked salmon, drizzled with dill olive oil. The waitress served each of us a cold shot of vodka. Delicious!

Mains

Here one has a choice.

My far better half (FBH) had sauteed veal with a light cream sauce and sautéed mushrooms that looked — and tasted — out of this world.

I opted for dorade in a light cream sauce which was equally delicious.

The waitress brought us each a complimentary carafe of wine. FBH chose red. I had rosé.

Desserts

We both ordered their lemon tart, which we expected to be the French tarte au citron.

Unfortunately, it was American style, complete with a thick layer of meringue on top. It was competently done.

Hospitality

To get to the loos, we followed a little sign that said: ‘La route du bonheur’ or, ‘The road to happiness’. They were not wrong!

Our waitress was friendly and congenial, without being over the top. Her English was very good, even though we responded to her questions in French.

2019

We looked forward to our return this year.

Prices are now €49 per person, drinks included.

The starter and the second course are still the same.

Mains

There were several options from which to choose, which the waitress described for us. There was no slate, which would have helped on this occasion.

I thought both of us had ordered the same veal dish, but no.

FBH had the one I would have preferred: sautéed veal escalopes in a light sauce.

Mine was a veal shank ragout with olives.

We both enjoyed our choices very much. Mine came with portions of a huge veal shank, incredibly tender in a Mediterranean-style tomato-based sauce. It was a huge portion.

Wine

We enjoyed a complimentary bottle of red Burgundy, Côtes de Nuits: Les Enfants Terribles 2017 from Domaine Jean-Luc and Paul Aergerter.

Desserts

We both had chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream, which was just the way it was made in the 1970s. Nothing to write home about, but it brought back fond childhood memories for both of us.

Hospitality

The ‘Route du bonheur’ is no more.

Instead of being at the back near the kitchens, the loo is now at the front of the restaurant. It has a sign or symbol on it saying it’s for men, but it seemed to be the only one there.

I felt sorry for any women having to use it, especially as the water did not work. I found that out only after I put soap all over my hands. Fortunately, there were paper towels on hand.

Not good overall, however.

Additional notes

TripAdvisor members give La Brouette de Grand-mère 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

The food, drink and service are consistent, as is the quality.

The restaurant also has a Facebook page.

Conclusion

We look forward to a return visit on our next trip. Let’s hope the lavatory situation has improved by then.

My far better half (FBH) and I have been dining for years at Le Rendez-Vous at 35 Rue Félix Faure in Cannes.

I began posting about the restaurant in 2015 and am delighted to report that they still serve HUGE portions! As I wrote four years ago:

Go, go, go! This is one restaurant where you can order à la carte without breaking the bank!

I didn’t have a chance to write about our 2017 visit, so you’ll get two reviews below.

2017

We both ordered the €35.80 prix fixe menu.

Starters

FBH ordered a thick slice of duck foie gras mi-cuit, i.e. pâté, rather than seared lobe.

I ordered their eight — rather than six! — ‘belles huitres’ (‘beautiful oysters’) and was not disappointed.

Mains

FBH ordered a delightful scallop plate — coquilles St Jacques — which came in layers. Seasoned in a Provençal style and sitting on top a bed of rice were a bottom layer of sweet potato purée, then a truffle purée in the centre, topped with scallops sautéed in olive oil.

I ordered Mediterranean sea bass — loup. Unfortunately, because it was a Monday, there was no loup, only whiting (merlan). I did not know that until the waiter brought it to our table and announced it as such. Under French law, restaurant staff must advise of any substitute when a plate is brought to the table. I was so disappointed. I wished they had come by after we’d placed our orders so that I could have chosen something different — like the scallops!

Wine

We ordered a reliable white Cassis Appellation Protegée: Domaine du Paternel (2016) for €42. The Santini family own the domaine and have been making wine for three generations.

Desserts

FBH ordered rhum baba, deemed ‘good’. Decent rhum babas are hard to find, as most of them are from the cash and carry or are prepared the quick way — substituting cake for a raised dough — in the restaurant. There is no quick way around a rhum baba.

I enjoyed a generous crème brulée, which was delicious.

2019

Le Rendez-Vous still has their €26.80 and €35.80 prix fixe menus.

Our bill this year was not far off from 2017’s and came to €120.

Starters

FBH had crab and salmon tartare, which was mostly crab cocktail: okay, but FBH wanted more salmon tartare.

I wanted to have the whitebait — petite friture — that I had in 2015, but that’s off the menu now, unfortunately.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised by my deep fried squid — calamari — topped with an abundance of thin, crispy deep fried onion rings. I noted in my diary: ‘HUGE!’ The flavour was huge, too. Absolutely scrumptious in every way.

As we were finishing our starters, a Danish family sat down next to us: Mum, Dad and three daughters. They ordered three or four starters, one of them being the calamari with onion rings. I really had to resist poking my oar in and saying, ‘You’ve ordered way too much food!’ I was not wrong. They left nearly all the calamari, when that was the best of what they’d ordered. Still, they seemed like a nice family. I was intrigued to see that they played cards between courses and had a beautiful deck of gilt edged playing cards, the likes of which I’d never seen. Again, it took quite a bit of self-restraint not to ask them where they’d purchased them.

Mains

I had frogs legs à la Provençale. Excellent!

However, this would have been the evening to order Mediterranean sea bass — loup. I was somewhat envious when I saw FBH’s plate, which had a whole loup — two beautiful and large fillets. Sigh. They were picture perfect and beautifully sautéed.

While we were eating, an elderly Catholic priest walked in for dinner. He was obviously a regular and received a warm, yet reverent, welcome. That further confirmed to me that Le Rendez-Vous is a quality restaurant.

Wine

We went with the Domaine du Paternel once more.

Desserts

We must be getting older, because we had no room for dessert!

Additional notes

TripAdvisor has mixed reviews, giving Le Rendez-Vous an overall 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Verdict

We would certainly eat here again, but probably only once.

I am somewhat disappointed that Le Rendez-Vous has changed their menu to accommodate ‘lighter fare’ but can appreciate that some diners, e.g. the Danish family next to us, prefer those types of dishes.

This Cannes restaurant’s name aptly describes itself, because it truly is a hit with customers!

Le Hit — Chez Jean-Louis is my favourite restaurant in the city. Others come close, but for top ratings on food, prices and hospitality, you cannot do better. Its location is also excellent, as it is a short walk away from the railway station and main bus stop.

Here is a bit about our past and present experiences at 12 rue du 24 août (24th of August Street) in Cannes.

Au Bec Fin

Many years ago there was a family-owned restaurant at 12 rue du 24 août called Au Bec Fin.

I ate there in May 1978, on my first visit to Cannes. It was the first time I’d ever had frogs legs. Smothered in a Provençal olive oil sauce with diced tomato and garlic, they were out of this world. Since then, I have always had frogs legs in Cannes. I consider it to be a good precursor of a return visit.

So, when my far better half (FBH) and I began taking holidays in the city, we used to go there. On our visit in 1999, we had their bourride, which is a Cannois version of bouillabaisse. Au Bec Fin’s came with the best ever aïoli — a garlicky, saffron-infused mayonnaise — used to flavour the soup. I’ve tried many times to reproduce it at home but mine never tastes as good as theirs.

Their steak tartare was also the best we’d ever had, and the accompanying skinny fries were out of this world. We have since been able to reproduce the tartare at home. Here is the recipe.

The interior of the restaurant was modest. There were old film canisters and strips of film hanging from the ceiling. Unfortunately, those intriguing ornaments had to be removed, no doubt thanks to new health and safety laws.

There was a charming elderly woman who used to eat dinner there. I assume that was her daily meal and, at her age, probably all she needed for the next 24 hours. They did serve ample portions.

The staff always made conversation with her and other regular locals used to sit with her to chat.

Then, on our 2009 trip, we found to our great disappointment that Au Bec Fin had closed. What a sad day that was.

It became a lunch spot, and, in time, we lost track of it. The Cannes restaurant scene is ever changing, and the transformations the new owners make with their establishments pretty much obliterate what went before.

2017 — Le Hit

On our 2017 visit, we walked down the street and found Le Hit — Chez Jean-Louis.

The menu looked intriguing, so we made a reservation.

We were not sure what to expect, but it ended up being every bit as good as Au Bec Fin.

Jean-Louis gave us a warm welcome, as if he’d known us for years.

We ate there twice that year.

Jean-Louis has reasonably priced prix fixe menus and serves ample portions.

First visit

I noted the day we had our first dinner there: ‘Would return’.

Starters

FBH had salmon tartare.

I had frogs legs prepared in a nearly identical fashion to Au Bec Fin’s. This would have been enough for a main course. Sumptuous! A la carte, they cost €17.

Mains

FBH ordered steak tartare with big, fat chips. There was a bit of salad on the side. FBH said the tartare was too eggy. However, the fries were good, and the salad was dressed in a tasty vinaigrette.

I did much better with my gambas — big prawns — and rice, prepared similarly to the Provençal-style frogs legs. Delicious!

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of Bandol rosé: La Bastide Blanche 2015, from the Bronzo family in Var (83330 Le Castellet).

Dessert

I ordered a cheese plate with four different kinds of French cheese and a side of salad. It came with a basket of bread along with butter. Superb!

Hospitality

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we were the last customers to leave.

Jean-Louis came over to talk to us after taking cigarette breaks outside the hairdresser’s across the street. He always asked how we liked each course and made small talk, which made us feel welcome.

Second visit

We made a return visit to Le Hit a week later.

Starters

I had frogs legs again and was not disappointed.

FBH ordered their homemade duck foie gras mi-cuit (pâté). It was a generous plate with a few slices — rather than just one — of foie gras, accompanied by a competently made fig chutney. As with the frogs legs, this is a meal in itself.

Mains

FBH had swordfish — espadon — with a delicious ratatouille.

I had the steak tartare this time. Yes, it was too eggy, but the chips were ‘top’, as the French say, and the salad brilliant.

Wine

We ordered the same Bandol (see above).

Dessert

We had eaten sufficiently and did not partake of dessert!

Hospitality

Once again, we were the last to leave.

Jean-Louis sat down at the table next to us, and we had a lengthy conversation with him about setting up a business and aspects of his private life.

FBH asked about Au Bec Fin. Jean-Louis said, ‘This is it! This is the same address!’

He told us that, for the first few years, he served only lunch before expanding into a dinner service. That was probably the lunch spot we had seen a few years earlier.

Incidentally, L’Internaute states that Le Hit was opened in 2010 by Jean-Louis Barthélemy.

Wow!

As I said above, we had no idea anymore because of subsequent restaurants in that street.

He introduced us to his intended successor, who was cleaning up behind the bar before returning to the kitchen.

We had a really good time and, once we left, put the restaurant on our list for a return visit in 2019.

2019

This year, we made two visits to Le Hit.

First visit

We could hardly wait to get there.

Starters

I had — what else? — frogs legs. I noted in my diary: ‘HUGE!’ The price has gone up by only €1 to €18.

FBH ordered the foie gras and salad again, pronouncing it ‘excellent’.

Mains

Jean-Louis came by with a slate listing dishes from that day’s lunch menu. He smiled and said, ‘We still have a few items left over, if you are interested’.

FBH ordered the duck breast off the prix fixe menu.

I had a look at the slate, which Jean-Louis reviewed in detail. One item caught my eye, something I’d never had: andouillette. Jean-Louis warned, ‘It’s tripe sausage, you know. I don’t like it, personally. That said, I only have three portions left.’

Yes, I knew what it was and I was willing to try it only at a restaurant I trusted: ‘Fine by me, I’ll have the andouillette’.

I was not disappointed. Instead of the tripe being minced, the chef had tightly rolled up the tripe and somehow managed to get it in the casing. It looked beautiful and tasted even better. It had very little intestinal taste at all. The accompanying sauce was plentiful and piquant, a perfect complement.

I told Jean-Louis that he was missing out on a real treat and asked him to relay my compliments to the chef.

Wine

We enjoyed a Côte de Provence: Estandon Rosé, which Jean-Louis says his own family enjoys.

Dessert

We did not have dessert that night.

Hospitality

Jean-Louis remembered us by sight. He told us that he had stopped smoking. I replied that we hadn’t, so would appreciate sitting outside once again.

We were among the last to leave!

Our bill came to €113.

Second visit

We ate there again before we left.

Our bill came to €196, so you know we enjoyed ourselves. This was our highest restaurant bill ever in Cannes.

Starters

No prizes for guessing what I had.

FBH enjoyed a beautiful plate of scallops flambéed in Calvados. No skimping here: the plate was full.

Both are among the prix fixe dishes.

Mains

We both ordered a delightful and memorable plate of squid à la Provençale, accompanied by small slices of the best chorizo I’ve ever had. I don’t know if Jean-Louis bought it at the market or if he has a specialist supplier, but the taste profile was out of this world. Sometimes chorizo has a slight tangy or sour taste, but this was rich and smoky with paprika undertones.

As with most of Jean-Louis’s other dishes, this also came with a small side salad.

Dessert

We both had French cheese assortments, which were excellent.

Wine

We enjoyed two bottles of Bandol: La Bastide Blanche 2015.

Hospitality

Jean-Louis and his putative ‘successor’ once again made us feel very welcome.

Both asked during and after each course whether we enjoyed what we had. Yes, we most certainly did enjoy all of the courses! We were members of the Clean Plate Club!

Jean-Louis attention to his customers is top-notch. His assistant, the successor, is also attentive to customers’ needs.

After we finished our second bottle of Bandol and had a bit of a pause, Jean-Louis came up to us and asked in the most congenial way, ‘And what can I get you to drink?’ I had Sambuca. FBH had brandy.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to going back, if all goes well for us and them, in 2021.

Additional notes

Judging from the photos on Le Hit’s Facebook page, we are far from being the only customers to have had a delightful time there.

A couple from nearby Mougins who commented on TripAdvisor in April 2019 were as enthralled with Le Hit as we were. An excerpt follows (translation in the original):

In short that happiness, a warm welcome, an irreproachable service by the Head waiter for a real meal composed of fresh ingredients, and simmered as at home.

The best part of all this is that you do not pay more than some crowded restaurants that have succumbed to sirens vacuum industrial products and reheated by a microwave attendant.

So my wife and I thought we were going to repeat the experience, to see if it was a stroke of luck, and we went back several times.

Well in the end, we are very satisfied, we can assure you that the quality is constant which is rare, not to say exceptional.

An authentic restaurant as we like, that does not cheat with its customers no false pretense, nor darling and even less junk food.

It has happened to us to exchange with other guests who share the taste for the true traditional and tasty food … but also that of the conviviality and the authenticity, in short all the opposite of the shameless and the eternal dissatisfied …

You can go there with our eyes closed, we, since this discovery, we return regularly !

Enjoy your meal in the Hit !

Betty & Hubert

https://www.tripadvisor.fr/ShowUserReviews-g187221-d2692906-r666949554-Le_Hit-Cannes_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html#

You can get a better view of the interior courtesy of La Fourchette and can see autographs from the jazz musicians who play there on Friday — perhaps also Saturday — nights.

The unisex restroom is immaculate. It has three different notices asking customers to please leave it as clean as they found it.

Conclusion

Now you know why Le Hit is my favourite restaurant in Cannes.

Next week, we’ll look at FBH’s faves.

One Cannes restaurant we did not return to in 2019 was Chez Astoux, 41-43 Rue Felix Faure.

When we visited Cannes in 2015, we ate there twice. It was fabulous.

We eagerly made reservations in 2017, only to find that Chez Astoux was a shadow of its former self.

Chez Astoux is part of the Astoux et Brun establishments: two restaurants and a fishmongers.

There is an Astoux et Brun restaurant a few doors down from Chez Astoux (corner location), where there is always a buzz. If TripAdvisor is anything to go by, they do not take reservations. We ate there several years ago, and the seafood was very good, indeed. That said, it can be noisy when one wants a quiet dinner.

Hence, our more frequent visits to Chez Astoux.

2017

This was the year of our last visit.

We had looked forward to ordering off the slate (ardoise). Unfortunately, there was none. The waiter told us it was no longer economically viable to have a list of daily catch of the day specials.

Bummer.

Starters

My far better half (FBH) ordered tartare of sea bream (daurade) but said it was bland.

I had much better luck with my squid (seiche) beignets, which were great: unctuous on the outside and tender in the middle.

Mains

FBH stayed with sea bream and had a fillet of it with meat sauce. Surprising, yes, but meat sauce with fish is an amazing taste contrast which has been trending in France for several years, especially among younger chefs. I have since tried it at home — cod with beef sauce — and it is spectacular.

I had large prawns (camerones) with rice. They were exceptionally good.

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of white Bandol, Château Barthès 2015 from Var (83330 Le Beausset), which complemented our dishes perfectly.

Additional notes

There were not many people dining on the Sunday evening when we went, but those who were there were French.

There was also a quiet ‘domestic’ incident going on at a table near us which troubled the waiters, who chatted about it amongst themselves. They wondered if they should politely intervene. There was a threesome: a couple and a little girl. The woman kept checking her phone and responding to texts. The man kept asking her quietly what was so urgent and who was texting her. I couldn’t ‘earwig’ the whole conversation, but it seemed as if it had to do with her work. I did not catch who was texting her. Was it only work or did she have a certain someone at work? In any event, after they had finished their starters, she said to the man, ‘I don’t have to listen to you’, picked up her handbag — along with the phone — and stormed off. The little girl started sobbing and she was left with the man, with whom she seemed comfortable, by the way. I don’t know what the family relationship was among the three of them. We were ready to pay the bill by then, so I don’t know what happened after that. I thought about it for days, wondering what happened next.

On a lighter note, TripAdvisor has rave reviews of Chez Astoux.

Conclusion

With regard to value for money, Chez Astoux is expensive. The value for money question looms even larger with the continuing absence of the daily catch slate.

We decided there were more creative seafood preparations elsewhere in Cannes at lower prices, so it is unlikely we will return anytime soon, unfortunately.

We first went to Aux P’tits Anges in 2017.

I found out about it online somewhere, because I was a bit fed up with the street hawkers and musicians strolling up and down Rue Felix Faure and Le Suquet outside of the main tourist restaurants.

Aux P’tits Anges fit the bill perfectly, as it is located far away from all that, yet is still in the centre of town on a side street near the Marché Gambetta: 4 Rue Marceau (near the corner of Boulevard de la République).

They still have the same maître d’, who likes speaking English. (He is fluent outside of saying ‘idee’ for ‘idea’, which is rather charming.) He worked in England for several months years ago and enjoys taking his family there on holiday.

The owner is the chef, by the way. He also employs two pastry chefs.

2017

Rue Marceau is a modest street of businesses and bars.

Aux P’tits Anges can be a bit difficult to find the first time around — and reservations are recommended. If I remember rightly, we scoped it out one afternoon and reserved a table during their lunch service.

We sat outside, which isn’t exactly scenic, but it did mean we could enjoy a cigarette between courses. Whilst service is good, the maître d’ serves all the tables, indoors and out, therefore, dining here takes a while.

We had the Menu Diablotin for €37 each. There is a higher priced menu, Menu des Anges, for €55. (More here.)

Starters

We both had the pan seared slices of the lobe of duck foie gras (escalope de foie gras).

We received just the right amount of slices, seared to perfection. On the side was a flavoursome mango chutney, which was an ideal complement.

Mains

We both had king scallops (coquilles St Jacques) seasoned with piment d’Espelette and topped with tiny slices of chorizo. We both enjoyed it a lot. As I noted in my food diary, ‘Beautiful!’

Wine

We had a Côtes de Provence rosé 2013 from Château Les Valentines in La Londe-des-Maures (Var). The château, incidentally, is named after the owners’ children, Valentin and Clémentine. I put the name in bold, as we ordered another of their wines in 2019.

Desserts

I ordered the cheese plate, which had two wedges of Tomme and one of Coulommiers.

My far better half (FBH) had a dreamy dessert which was a chocolate cigar — yes, it looked just like the real thing — with a creamy filling. It was served in a tuile ashtray. FBH still talks about it.

Verdict

We both regretted we had already reserved at other restaurants for our remaining nights. We resolved to eat here twice on our 2019 trip, which we did.

2019 — first visit

We did not make reservations for our first return visit this year.

It was a quiet Tuesday evening, and the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

We opted for the Menu Diablotin again (still €37).

Starters

The chef changed the lobe of foie gras starter.

I preferred his former presentation, but FBH liked this one equally.

The highlight of this was the diced strawberries (with a touch of balsamic vinegar, I would guess) that came as the fruity garnish, rather than chutney, sautéed peaches or figs.

This year, the slices came in a sandwich format. The bread is a charcoal-turmeric marble loaf. The slices were lightly toasted with the foie gras slices in the middle. Obviously, this was not meant to be eaten with one’s hands. Chef probably thought this was a witty presentation.

For me, there was too much bread, especially as the top slice hid the foie gras. Why do that when fewer things are lovelier to look at than seared foie gras?

Initially, I left my bread behind.

Then, as more diners began arriving, the maître d’ understandably was busy taking orders and serving customers. I ended up eating the bread, which I still think is a strange combination of ingredients. However, such flavour combinations in bread have been the trend in certain French restaurants and bakeries in recent years. FBH enjoyed it, so it has its customer appeal.

Mains

We both had the roasted cod (cabillaud) loin topped with tiny slices of chorizo, served with a red pepper and raspberry sauce. It was to die for!

I don’t know how they do their sauce, and the maître d’ said that one could substitute raspberry vinegar for the actual fruit, but it was out of this world. I had to come up with a close facsimile when we got home, because we both wanted it again. What follows is my recipe, which comes pretty darned close to theirs.

Red pepper and raspberry sauce

200g raspberries
pinch of sugar
1 scant tsp balsamic vinegar
3 red bell peppers, finely diced
pinch of salt and pepper
dash of raspberry vinegar

1/ Put the raspberries and sugar in one saucepan and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the heat to cool, then strain. Keep the juice.

2/ While the raspberries are cooking, put the diced bell pepper into a pan with salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar. Gently sauté until cooked through — around 15 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool.

3/ Put the raspberry juice and the sautéed bell pepper into a blender or food processor to blitz into a sauce. Strain again, if necessary.

4/ This is a sauce to prepare just before you cook your cod, because the sauce loses the raspberry aspect fairly quickly. If the raspberry taste needs topping up, add a dash of raspberry vinegar to revive it.

5/ Reheat the sauce and serve with the cod, spooning it around the side of the fish rather than on top.

6/ Top with sautéed chorizo slices or bits.

Wine

We had a red, La Punition (The Punishment) 2017, another great wine from Château Les Valentines (see above), priced at €45. The bottle’s tasting notes explain that the grapes — 100% Carignan — were difficult to grow for a number of years. The producers could hardly wait until they had enough Carignan to make this wine, hence ‘the punishment’. Whatever they’ve been doing to make their harvest successful has obviously worked.

Dessert

We both had cheese assortments on this occasion.

The maitre d’ did identify them for us, but I did not note them in my diary. They were very good, however.

2019 — second visit

We could hardly wait to return and, had in fact, booked our table in advance.

We opted for the Menu Diablotin once more, with FBH hoping for a second chocolate cigar!

It was rather windy that evening, so we ate inside for the first time ever.

The chef-owner’s wife and mother-in-law have chosen the little plaques and artwork about happiness. These small additions are rather over the top, but the general atmosphere is one of elegant charm.

Starters

FBH had the lobe of foie gras again, partly for the marble bread.

I opted for breaded gambas (jumbo shrimp), perfectly deep fried and served with courgette tagliatelle. It was delightful.

Mains

We both opted for the duck breast stuffed with foie gras. The sauce was a raspberry coulis, which was perfect.

We ordered seasonal vegetables. These were largely courgettes. The maître d’ explained, ‘Chef loves his courgettes. He puts them with everything.’

The duck was okay, but it was not great. In fact, neither of us would order it again. We expected a juicy, unctuous duck breast with a rim of rendered, crispy skin on top enhanced by an equally unctuous insert of foie gras. The reality was a dry duck breast devoid of all outer skin that even a foie gras centre couldn’t save.

Oh well.

Wine

Another bottle of La Punition (see above)!

Dessert

Amazingly, I did not write down what I had.

But that doesn’t matter, because I will now describe FBH’s dish which we dubbed ‘the dessert of the trip’.

FBH still has fond memories of the chocolate cigar, but the chocolate tart ranks right up there. The experience was further heightened when we saw the two young pastry chefs (both men) go out for a quick ciggie break. They were the same chaps who made the chocolate cigar in 2017.

It was the most elaborate — and tasty — creation.

The filling was a light chocolate mousse topped with a spun red sugar spiral, two tiny chocolate cookie/vanilla ice cream sandwiches and two caramel filled chocolates on the side.

We would have paid any amount of money to take a box of those chocolate caramels back to the hotel. The salted caramel oozed out and was sublime, if not divine.

Additional notes

TripAdvisor has customer reviews.

Conclusion

We will definitely return to Aux P’tits Anges on our next trip.

By then, the menu will have evolved further, including the desserts!

My far better half (FBH) and I first ate at La Potinière in 2001.

It is located in the heart of Cannes, near the main post office and Palais des Festivals at 13 Square Mérimée.

Potinière means ‘gossping place’, by the way.

2001

I was not keeping food diaries at that point, but I vaguely recall having something with artichokes and most certainly had either prawns or Mediterranean sea bass (loup).

Desserts

What we remember most were the desserts.

The association of olive oil producers had put out a few new, cutting edge recipes that year. One was for strawberries in olive oil with basil, ground pepper and black olives.

It sounds disgusting until you taste it.

Strawberries in olive oil

1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
4 – 5 shredded basil leaves
3 – 4 twists of black pepper
1 – 2 tsp sugar
6 – 7 pitted black olives, thinly sliced
Dash of balsamic vinegar

Mix everything together 15 minutes beforehand and serve in a parfait glass with a sprig of mint.

As I was sceptical of this combination, I opted for the restaurant’s homemade ice cream. That was when lavender ice cream was all the rage along the French and Italian Rivieras. The owner said he would give me a scoop of lavender and one of pistachio. A Mediterranean combination made in heaven! Sheer bliss.

FBH had the strawberries and raved about them. I tried a spoonful. They were fantastic!

We made this recipe at home several times afterwards. Our guests loved it, too.

2003

Again, I had no food diary, but what we had was excellent.

I don’t think they had the strawberries on the menu anymore, which was somewhat disappointing.

Gossip

What I do remember was a conversation we had with the man we reckoned was the owner, who is no doubt the son of the founding family and father — probably — of the current proprietor. He was in his 50s at the time.

When we had been there in 2001, a chef from London opened his own restaurant next door. I’d read about it in the Evening Standard a few months before we went to Cannes. We didn’t eat there, as the interior was very dark: purple walls.

In 2003, the Englishman’s restaurant was no longer there. We asked the gentleman from La Potinière what happened. He said that he and other restaurateurs attempted to befriend him and welcome him into their little informal club. The Englishman, to his detriment, was not interested.

Our man told us how important it was to be on good terms with other restaurateurs in Cannes. Whilst they are competitors, they are also allies, sometimes friends. He said they can help you source better deals and, if you run short of something, they can supply it on a busy night.

Unfortunately, the Englishman, the man said, thought he could do it all by himself. Eventually, business trickled off and, as he had no restaurateur friends in town, it closed.

Moral of the story: when someone in the know, especially your next door neighbour, extends a professional hand of friendship, accept his kindness.

Subsequent years

We went to La Potinière a few more times afterwards.

I can’t remember when we stopped going. Possibly 2013 or 2015. The menu changed and seemed a bit lacklustre to us. Service, even from our man, was so-so.

In any event, they expanded next door, which was good.

2019

We wanted a restaurant nearby this year, because on the night we went, a new episode of Philippe Etchebest’s Cauchmar en Cuisine (Kitchen Nightmare) was going to air on M6 at 9 p.m. There’s nothing like watching one of your favourite foreign television shows on the night it airs, is there?

So, we opted for La Potinière. Our man was still there in the background, but it seemed as if his daughter (?) was running front of house. She made a point of speaking English to us most of the time, even though we kept responding in French. She was quite friendly, although rather forceful.

They had a new summer apprentice and she taught him how to present wine to the customer, how to open the bottle and then pour a tasting portion. He must have only just turned 18. He was rather nervous, understandably. It was his first day.

Starters

FBH had smoked salmon.

I had deep fried king prawn spring rolls Indonesian style (4 pieces), which were excellent: hot and crispy to the very end.

Mains

FBH had a roast chicken breast, which was competently prepared.

I had fillet of sea bream (daurade royale), which was outstanding.

Wine

We drank a bottle of white Cassis — Bodin 2017 — for €39.

Bill

We each had the €25.50 prix fixe menu. Our bill came to €90 — our least expensive evening out on this trip.

And, yes, we left the restaurant at 8:45 p.m., in plenty of time to be ready for Cauchemar en Cuisine, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Additional notes

The founders’ grandson, Larry, was the head chef for several years and has been managing the restaurant for at least four or five years now. He trained under Jacques Chibois and also attended Alain Ducasse’s cooking school.

The current chef favours lighter, modern, no-frills dishes focussing on a main ingredient, be it fish, meat or aubergine. This is a vegetable-friendly establishment. They also have their own traditional pizza oven.

TripAdvisor has customer reviews for the restaurant.

Conclusion

Would we rush back? No.

Is La Potinière a good place for dining on simple food relatively quickly? Yes.

We first ate at Au Mal Assis in the Old Port area of Cannes in 2015.

I gave it a rave review then.

We have since returned twice.

Au Mal Assis is the oldest restaurant in the Old Port. It has been in operation since 1914 and is located at 5 Quai Saint Pierre.

2017

Be warned, the portions are generous here.

Starters

My far better half (FBH) had octopus (poulpe) salad which included two langoustines and two large shrimp (gambas). That could have been a main course. I noted at the time: ‘HUGE!’

I had a dozen escargots and was able to retrieve each from the shell. The parsley/garlic butter was copious and perfect with baguette.

Mains

BH ordered the veal escalope with creamy mushroom sauce and skinny chips (fries). It was another huge plate of food.

I opted for the coquilles St Jacques (king scallops) in sage and balsamic sauce over rice. What a delight!

We decided then that we would return in 2019.

Wine

We drank a satisfying red Bandol from the Var region: Domaine La Ragle 2011 (83330 Domaine de la Roque).

Dessert

I ordered a cheese assortment (assiette de fromage), which was a delightful end to dinner.

FBH declined, having had too much to eat!

2019

This was the first restaurant we went to this year.

Our expectations were high.

The bill came to €111.50 for two.

Service

Service was very slow this year. Admittedly, we went out later than usual this time.

Starters

The dozen escargots were once again on the money. Unfortunately, I could retrieve only ten this time.

FBH ordered the home made foie gras de canard, which was delicious.

Mains

Both of us had stunning sea bass fillets (loup from the Mediterranean) which was encrusted with a tasty basil and bread crumb crumble. We would certainly order that again.

This dish is priced at a reasonable €22. In my notes, I wrote: ‘GREAT VALUE!’

Wine

We drank a white AOC de Provence: St Victorin from Christian Troin et Fils (Var).

I noted: ‘GOOD WINE!’

Desserts

As it was late, I had eaten sufficiently.

BH wanted a cheese platter, but our waiter took so long to return to our table that we gave up, which was disappointing.

Additional notes

This is the menu, which shows that some dishes are much more expensive than others.

TripAdvisor has very mixed reviews.

As we left, one of the staff was assembling a two-tiered sumptuous seafood platter. We told him it was as if we were watching an artist at work. He smiled broadly and thanked us. Every bit of seafood had its precise place on the plates.

Conclusion

We would return to Au Mal Assis but would go shortly after it opens. The later one goes, the greater the likelihood of poor service.

2017 was the first time we dined at Gaston Gastounette in the Old Port area of Cannes, at 6 Quai Saint Pierre.

We returned this year.

I looked at my restaurant notes to see that the two of us had ordered nearly the same dishes both times.

The service can be painfully slow — and this is a place that has experienced old school waiters — but the food is worth the wait for first or second time diners.

Either the menu has changed since we were there a few weeks ago or it is merely representative, but the descriptions below should demonstrate that the cooking is competent.

Diners choose two starters and one main course. Prix fixe menus are currently priced at €33 and €41.

This is the wine list.

2017

In 2017, both my far better half and I ordered the €40 prix fixe menu. We sat outdoors next to a British couple.

The waiter brought us regional black olives as an amuse bouche.

Service

The wait between courses was so long that both of us yearned to light up cigarettes. However, we didn’t, because of the couple sitting next to us.

When it came time to leave, all four of us got up at the same time. We moved a few yards away and all of us lit up simultaneously.

We all remarked that, as we were together, we could have easily smoked between courses at dinner — and had a good conversation.

All of us wondered why the service was so doggone slow.

I remember that we kept eating the bread — thankfully, the waiter refilled our bread baskets regularly — and that I ate all the butter provided. Believe me, there was a lot of butter.

Starters

That year, the two of us began with two starters each of salmon tartare, filet of sea bream (dorade) and three oysters. There was a garnish of salad on the side of the plate. Why they left the salad undressed is anyone’s guess. A bit of vinaigrette would have added just the right note of acidity.

Other than that, the starters were very good, indeed. The oysters were of a good size with perfect flavour: sweet and salty at the same time.

Mains

My far better half (FBH) ordered deep fried squid (calamar) and shrimp (gambas). In my notes, I wrote, ‘Looked great — nice and crispy’. The tempura batter looked perfect.

I ordered baked sea bass (loup, from the Mediterranean) garnished with sautéed artichokes. I noted, ‘Lots of artichoke! Yum!’

Wine

We drank Bandol Blanc, Domaine Bunan 2015, Moulin des Costes from the province of Var (83740 La Cadière d’Azur).

Desserts

My FBH had baba au rhum, described as rather ‘industrial’.

I had a competently prepared creme brulée.

2019

This year, we chose the €36 prix fixe menu.

We sat indoors near the window this time. There were no tables outside the restaurant.

The waiter brought us regional black olives as an amuse bouche. I was happy to see that they continue to do that.

Starters

Each of us ordered oysters, which were perfect, as in 2017.

For the second option, my better half had the raviolo with white truffle.

I had the artichoke salad, which was ginormous, with lots of artichoke.

Mains

This time, I decided to have the deep fried squid (calamar) and shrimp (gambas), too.

Both of us thought they were excellent. The tempura batter was outstanding.

Wine

We drank Cassis, which is a white or a rosé wine from the Var and not in any way like creme de cassis (blackcurrant) used in kir.

We chose the Domaine du Paternel (Santini family) for €44.

Service

Service was execrable, considering there were only a few tables of diners. We got there shortly after 7 p.m.

I am happy to say that I did not devour the whole pot of butter at our table.

Dessert

The waiter did not even ask us if we wanted dessert! He just presented us with the bill (€114).

Additional notes

I understand that the ladies’ loo is done in marble and is above average for Cannes restaurants in its cleanliness.

You can read more about Gaston Gastounette on TripAdvisor.

Conclusion

As the service so slow and we were not even asked if we would like dessert this year, we are unlikely to return.

We’ve been there twice and ordered the same things twice, so there is no need for a third visit.

That said, Gaston Gastounette is worth a visit for those who don’t mind waiting. The food is excellent.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post — not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,335 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

August 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

http://martinscriblerus.com/

Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,512,516 hits
Advertisements