Home » World Eats: Nice, France

World Eats: Nice, France

by Robert Adams

Grab a fork and come with us as we explore the diverse culinary offerings in Nice, France and experience the palate-pleasing creations of some amazing chefs from the Côte d'Azur.

Place Massena in Nice (Photo by KVN1777)

Grab a fork and come with us as we explore the diverse culinary offerings in Nice, France and experience amazing palate-pleasing creations.

When traveling to the French Riviera recently, we had the opportunity to dine at eight amazing restaurants in different parts of the city, where we got to know the culinary scene of the second most popular destination in France (Paris is the first).

With many of the restaurants combining French and Italian influences with fresh produce, seafood, and meats, each venue was unique and appealing in their own special way. Some nights we dined near the famous Promenade de Anglais, with its seaside setting, or in the Unesco World Heritage designated Old Town with its narrow cobblestone streets, pedestrian-only areas, and buildings dating back hundreds of years.

When the weather was warm, as many nights were in May, we dinned al fresco and enjoyed cocktails and dinner by the sea, on rooftops, or people watching on the beautiful Place Garibaldi, where one night dozens of people were holdings hands and dancing in a circle to the accompaniment of musicians playing a guitar and an accordion.

There are hundreds of restaurants in Nice from which to choose, from large tourist spots to small pop and pop places that accommodate just a few people, and it is always recommended that you make reservations. So grab a fork and come with us as we explore the diverse culinary offerings in Nice, France and experience the palate-pleasing creations of some amazing chefs from the Côte d’Azur.

 

Chef at Angelo Terra D’italia

ANGELO TERRA D’ITALIA

Casual elegance and fine dining make the perfect combination at Angelo Terra D’italia. Eat outside on the enclosed terrace, complete with heat lamps for cooler nights, or inside at a romantic table for two. Here you will enjoy special dishes created by the chef that feature truffles and local products, chosen directly from producers in the region. If you love the delectable cuisine of Italy, this is one of the best places in Nice to immerse yourself in the world of Italian gastronomy. We began with Ketel One Vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred) and teased our taste buds with the roasted Camembert cheese with truffle, focaccia, and truffle oil. If you love truffles, this is the place to satisfy your taste for the famous fungi. When we visited in May, all the dishes were served with truffles, and they were very generous with the shavings they gave. For our main courses, we chose to forgo adding truffles, and enjoyed amazing creamy risotto with green and white asparagus, sprinkled with parmigiano reggiano; beef tagliata, on a bed of rocket salad and parmigiano reggiano; followed by a decadent dark chocolate cake with white chocolate center, dark chocolate ganache and mascarpone cream, and an order of their heavenly poached pears. We hesitated accepting the traditional limoncello offered at the end of the meal, but we are so glad we did. They make it fresh everyday, and it is the best we have ever tasted. Forget the store bought brands, always go with homemade, and preferably at Angelo Terra D’italia in Nice. Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa, 12 Boulevard Victor Hugo. boscolocollection.com/nice

 

Rooftop Dining at Bocca Nissa

 

BOCCA NISSA

Located in the Old Town and close to the Promenade de Anglais, Bocca Nissa is a popular, indoor/outdoor restaurant with a fun rooftop bar. This is a great place to go with friends for dinner and drinks, while enjoying some wonderful culinary offerings. For cocktails, their Caipirinha (Leblon cachaça, lime juice, sugar cane), and the Passion St Germain (Hendrick’s gin, elder flower, lime juice, passion fruit puree, lemonade) are sure to quench your thirst and give an added glow to your tan after a day enjoying Nice. We started our meal with the melt-in-the-mouth tortilla with eggs, potatoes, and caramelized onions, and the seafood lover’s Fritto Misto (fried squid & sardines, tartar sauce). If you live paella, you love the Balearic Rice, served here with saffron-flavored rice, shellfish and fish stock, langoustines, and Spanish mussels). It’s a house specialty, and easily shared with others. In fact, everything on the menu can and should be shared. Our favorites included the fried artichokes with tomato raita sauce and fresh herbs; green beans with roasted hazelnuts, feta cheese, sesame seeds, coriander, honey, and cider vinegar; and the beef ravioli with infused sage stock, grana padano cheese, and lemon zest. If you have room for dessert, the Destroyed Lemon Pie with almonds crumble, lemon curd, lemon and basil sorbet, chantilly, and lemon confit; and the Pavlova with seasonal fruits and vanilla mascarpone cream, are a must. 3 rue Saint François de Paule. boccanissa.com

 

Arriving at Côté Marais for Dinner

COTE MARAIS

This charming, LGBTQ-owned restaurant is perfect for a romantic meal for two, or an intimate dinner with good friends. The night we visited, Tours By Locals (toursbylocals.com) had arrange for Fouad, one of their guides in Nice, to show us around the Old Town. After our early evening tour, with a stop for cocktails along the way, we arrived at Côté Marais. This quintessential French restaurant was made even more wonderful by the host and owner who made sure we had an enjoyable meal with our friends. He suggested a superb white Burgundy wine for the table, as well as an assortment of appetizers for us to share, including: escargots, beef carpaccio, various cheeses, and fresh baked bread. For our entrees, we choose such classic dishes as French onion soup, scalloped potatoes, entrecote, and beef bourguignon. With only a little room left for dessert, we shared the addictive chocolate fondant and some vanilla ice cream. After espressos and many hugs with our new friends, we took a long walk along the Promenade de Anglais and knew, without saying, that Nice was our kind of town. 4 Rue du Pontin. Tel: +33-493-809-539.

 

Daube, a Classic Provençal Beef Stew

 

RESTAURANT CHEZ ACCHIARDO

Family-run Chez Acchiardo has been open since 1927 and is perfectly located in the heart of the Old Town with its narrow streets and beautifully colored buildings from the 16th century. Here you’ll be able to sample some of the best traditional dishes in Nice, such as trouchia, a tasty frittata layered with baby Swiss chard; and duck breast in fig sauce. The night we visited, we received very warm welcome when one of the owners discovered PASSPORT was an LGBTQ magazine. He made us feel right at home, and his enthusiasm helped us appreciate this well-loved restaurant and it’s fascinating history. He suggested the house wine, and he informed us that until his grandfather retired, he created his own table wine in the cellar. For our dinner we enjoyed a huge salad Nicoise and the daube, a classic Provençal beef stew made with red wine and Mediterranean herbs. This was truly some of the best French comfort food we have ever had. End your evening with the crème brûlée, or chocolate mousse, and a cappuccino or espresso. As you walk back to your hotel, you will be planning you next meal at Chez Acchiardo. Reservations are recommended, and the restaurant is closed on Saturday and Sunday. 38 rue Droite. Tel: +33-493-855-116.

 

Surprise Dinner Course at Nuances

 

NUANCES

Are you ready to be surprised by your next meal? At Nuances, they ask diners: “Why choose when you can just be surprised? Trust us, let yourself be guided, and let go by giving our chef carte blanche to amaze you.” The idea is unique, but it’s also not ideal if you want to know what you’re putting into your mouth. After informing our server that one of us was allergic to fish, he said that the chef would make sure not to serve him any seafood. The first course we had was delicious, with my husband getting chicken instead of fish. It was wonderfully presented with a delicate sauce, fresh greens, and a morel foam on top. The next course he was served, unfortunately looked just like the fish dish I had just eaten, right down to the foam on top. We sent it back, but the chef came out and insisted it was a different dish. Not wanting to take any chances, we moved on to the next course. I had a wonderful tasting mackerel ravioli, while my husband enjoyed the pork loin. They will suggest a wine to accompany each course, and they have an excellent selection. For dessert? Close your eyes and guess! The menu changes daily, varying according to the moods of the chefs. Starter + main course, 20€; main course + dessert. 20€; starter + dessert, 25€. Every two weeks the chef offers a new 6-course gourmet menu, made up of seasonal products. 55€. 15 rue Cassini. nuances-restaurant.com

 

Fresh Pasta at Sentimi

SENTIMI

If you love simply prepared, traditional Italian food and al fresco dining, this is the place for you. Located on the expansive Place Garibaldi, it’s a great location to enjoy a glass of wine, delicious salads, pizza, or your pasta of choice. After eating here on two different nights during our visit to Nice, we felt like we lived here. There is a good balance between locals and tourists, so people watching is lots of fun. Start with the Bresola (air-dried beef served with mozzarella, arugula, parmesan shavings and lemon zest). Accompany this with a nice glass of wine, perhaps the smooth Vermentino primo bianco, which paired wonderfully with everything we ate. For our pizza course, the Diavola with tomato sauce, mozzarella, chorizo, and oregano was the perfect choice. We followed this by sharing a Caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, and a lasagna à la Bolognaise make with beef and pork. For dessert, their homemade ice cream, tiramisù, and cheesecake are all great choices. Tutti a tavola a mangiare! 2-4 place Garibaldi. sentimi.fr

 

TERRAMADRE

During our first night in Nice, after taking a self-guided tour of the Old Town and the boardwalk along the Promenade des Anglais, a sudden thunder storm appeared out of nowhere. We were running to get to our hotel, but before we could get there the rain came pouring down and we had to make a mad dash into the first available place. Luckily for us, that was the Terramadra restaurant. We were quickly seated at a street side table out of the rain, and given some extra napkins to dry off with. After being served two large cocktails of vodka and soda, the storm began subsiding and soon a beautiful double rainbow arched over our heads and into the Mediterranean Sea. To celebrate the occasion, we decided to stay right where we were and enjoy our first meal in Nice. The food is simple bistro fare, and during the three nights we ate here our favorite go to dishes were the plentiful and delicious Caesar salad with chicken, the tender and tasty steak frites, and the spaghetti Bolognese. We always choose a favorite restaurant to return to again and again when we travel, and in Nice, Terramadre made the top of our list. 11 Promenade des Anglais. terramadrenicerestaurant.com

 

55 Sour at Type 55

TYPE 55

This delightful restaurant combines delectable food, amazing drinks, and a friendly staff in a winning combination that will have you returning again and again. In fact, after our evening here, we decided we would go to Type 55 at least once a week if we lived in Nice. Everyone from the owner, Armand Crespo, to the chefs and servers made us feel right at home. Start with their signature 55 Sour created by the chef de bar, Florian. He combines whiskey, vanilla syrup, lime juice, and blackberry jam, then adds ice, shakes, and pours it into a martini glass. It’s now our favorite new drink and a must try when dining at Type 55. Pizza lovers are in for a treat when they come here, as they are famous for their contemporary interpretations of this internationally loved meal. How about a pie with dried beef, buffalo mozzarella, melon, and ginger vinaigrette? Another popular choice is the pizza with smoked salmon, dill paste, parsley cream, scrambled egg, and pickled cucumber! Our other courses that evening included an outstanding Paris-Brest with shrimp, avocado, taramasalata, and sabayon sauce, and the Asparagus Velvet with grilled salami, a poached egg, and asparagus floating in asparagus puree. Whatever you order here, prepare yourself for a culinary treat! Closed Sunday and Monday. 1 rue de la Préfecture. Tel: +33-973-604-982.

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