That’s right, the recent lull has been caused by culinary exploration. And that’s the only reason there would ever be a lull.
A trip through Antibes, Juan le Pins and Cap d’Antibes on the Cote d’Azur brought more gastro-pleasure than you could imagine.
For your reading delight, following is a brief tour of dishes tasted, foods sampled, and beverages imbibed in one of the most marvelous areas on earth:
First of all, no meal is complete without a bottle of Rosé. People swig this stuff constantly in the south of France. Normally I’m not a big fan, but these wines are incredibly refreshing in warmer weather and if you’re gonna buy one, definitely make sure it’s from the area of Provence.
While I’m on the subject of wine, here’s a general tip for buying vino in this country: the French make it cheap to buy good wine. Tasted several bottles of Rosé from 4-6 euro all of fairly decent quality. You can often get good bottles from all over France from a local supermarket from under 10 euro that will be much better than what you’d expect for the same price back home.
Paupiettes de Veau
This is a recipe eaten all over France but I tasted it for the first time in Antibes. Life-changing.
Carnivores – picture perfectly seasoned veal meatballs wrapped in a thin escalope of veal and a thin layer of veal fat, then tied with a string. Topped with a mind-blowing tomato and garlic sauce. This is arguably the most amazing French comfort food creation I’ve ever tasted besides Cassoulet. It will warm my bones for years to come.
This is a Mediterranean white fish that we sampled and appeared to be a staple dish on many local menus. Rightly so. Slightly firm and less flaky than light white fish like cod. Incredibly flavorful and a real treat that we can’t find here in New England despite being a haven of the sea.
A tantalizing dry sausage found in a local butcher shop that was outstanding. Nothing more to say.
If you ever find yourself in the South of France in old Antibes (and I recommend you do), the following three spots are certain not to disappoint and served up some of the best food I’ve had in this culinary mecca of the world:
A true culinary talent behind the kitchen here people. This Michelin-rated spot the size of Ten Tables (JP) had an amazing ambiance, friendly service, and served us dishes like:
- Artichoke velouté (soup) with seared foie gras and greens.
- Risotto, chanterelle mushrooms, escargots.
- Filet of dorade and fresh veggies
“Between two wines” is a tiny wine bar serving stellar grapes and a small but very satisfying menu of plates. They were the spot that served me my first paupiettes de veau and also turned my taste buds on with mortadella and truffle.
Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit – http://www.restaurant-figuier-saint-esprit.com/
The only word to really describe our meal here is that it was truly a work of “art.” Owned by Christian Morisset, who is not only rocking one of the best handle-bar moustaches ever but is also a French master, this is one of those places where I felt like saying “I’m not worthy” as I tasted each dish. Writing would not do justice to the beauty of the food here. Instead of painstakingly trying to describe in a novella what we ate, let’s just have a moment of foodie silence instead.
Just a few highlights but more to come (on Paris) shortly.
Nick the Foodie.