I did not take too much persuading to join Bob Tickler in Nice with awful weather predicted for Easter. I also had a friend, an ex soldier called Jocelyn who has set up home there. My guide to riviera restaurants “Entre la Cote, Entre Nous” always requires updating too.
Yesterday we went for a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. There are public and private beaches, the latter with their own bar, restaurant and recliners on the pebbles. Jocelyn had recommended Blue Beach. Bob said he did not wish to return to Ocean Plage after they failed to honour a booking. I decided on something light and went for a sea food salad of langoustine and prawns. This was served interestingly with fresh mango and kiwis. It was just the right dish for a warm day though the wind was beginning to pick up. I had three fruity sorbets – cherry, lemon, and blackcurrant to maintain the citrus themes. With a small carafe of Rose called a pichet it came to €45, relatively expensive, London prices, but worth it for the sea position and view. The service was noticeably better, the waiter prepared the salad by the table. However a nice touch- service charge is not automatic on the bill, a system I much prefer.
In the evening we went to Grand Balcon next to the Opera. Bob ‘s first two experiences with Nice restaurants were marred by uncomfortable cramped dining so we were delighted to find a large circular table as we were joined by Polly, a vegetarian and Grania, who is particular in what she eats. I was concerned as this was a restaurant with many foie gras and truffles dishes but Polly demolished a tuna whilst Grania’s entrecote was devoured. I had a chestnut soup with foe gras “spuma” and a delicious duck served in a rich sauce. The service was not quite so good here – the waitress told Bob he could not have a cheeseboard when he had ordered this the previous night. She retorted that she was not here last night, the manager was duly summoned and Bob had his cheese. The wine, half a bottle of good Macon was on the expensive side at €60 for half bottle. We are all in abstemious mode !!!
With the Colombe D’Or and its collection of fine art to come up and La Petite Maison only a few doors down from le Grand Balcon we have some fine restaurants ahead of us too. Those naughty Frenchmen were at it harassing les girls on their seaside run and proposing a drink in some vile bar in the old quarter. I have sadly to relate that despite being in my best Matthew Williamson summery dress not one propositioned me on the Promenade!!!