I had two nights in Cannes in early September, at the beginning of a river cruise. I knew nothing of the city, except for the film festival, so I expected many restaurants would cater to the red carpet set - with matching prices. I was hoping for something a little more reasonable. I searched TripAdvisor, and this place caught my eye. I tried it my first night and was so impressed I went back for the second.
It sits across the road from a marina in the old harbour part of town, so normally it would have a nice view. Unfortunately, that week the city was setting up for a yacht show, so all across the street were portable cabanas. Still, the sidewalk tables and the wonderful food more than made up for that deficit.
The menu is appealing, and everything has English subtitles, so for someone who took classes in French over three decades ago, it was very welcoming. Not all the waiters are fluent in English, but for those who weren't the combination of my French and their English was more than adequate. Plus, their tolerance of my efforts was both welcoming and a bit surprising. (This was my first time in France, and my pre-conceptions were, as i turns out, many years out of date...)
Despite many temptations on the regular menu, I opted for the fixed price options. They have two, one for 26 Euro and one for 31. As it turned out, I chose both, on separate days. They included different choices for appetizer, main and dessert. I went for the higher one the first day because one of mains called out to me: sea bass over seafood cannellonis with shellfish sauce. It was fabulous.
I chose a crab tartare for a starter. Obviously, the crab was not raw, but served in a delightful cream sauce and framed by a slice of cucumber.
The mousse was piped inside a dark chocolate half shell and served with a berry coulis.
Two nights, two different experiences. Whereas the first night was rich, elegant, and exquisitely delicate, the second was hearty, robust - and enough food for a hungry trucker. The first meal would not have been out of place in a four star restaurant. The second suggested a famous country inn.
I had country pate a la maison, sea bream, and lemon tart. The first course was huge, a palm-sized slab of pate accompanied by a small green salad and caramelized onions. It was so good I needed two glasses of a hearty red to give it its due. (Well, I didn't "need" two glasses, but...)
The sea bream was delicious, and a welcome contrast after the pate. It is no accident that so many reviews comment on the sea bream.
The lemon tart was great - and, again, a trencherman's slice.
I would have gone back a third night if I had one, because both nights I was tortured by the smells of the gambas a la plancha from neighbouring tables.
The wine list is not huge, but perfectly adequate. More importantly for me, as a single, there is a great selection of wine by the glass. The Touraine sauvignon blanc is brilliant with seafood and my first waiter's suggestion of a muscat with dessert was very nice.
I had two fabulous meals, at just about 50 Euro each, plus tip. (Tips are included in the price as my waiter on the second night took pains to point out - but I added one anyway.)
Thanks, TripAdvisor. This was a great beginning to a fine holiday. I whole-heatedly recommend this restaurant.
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