Le Chantecler, Nice 2

December 23, 2013

On December 18, 2013, Linda and I returned to Le Chantecler for a holiday dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

Sur Mesure, Paris

November 19, 2013

At the age of 18, after completing an apprenticeship as a pastry chef, Thierry Marx became a paratrooper and he served as a UN “blue helmet” soldier during the 1980 Lebanese civil war. Back in civilian life he worked in a variety of jobs, finally returning to the kitchen. He cooked in Sydney, Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo. Thierry Marx earned a Michelin star as head chef in three different restaurants in France finally gaining a second at Cordeillan-Bages near Bordeaux in 1999. In 2011 he opened Sur Mesure in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the rue Saint Honoré in Paris. It received two Michelin stars the following year. Linda and I went for dinner on October 9, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

L’Ambroisie, Paris

November 12, 2013

L’Ambroisie has been in its 17th century house on the Place des Vosges since 1986. It has had three Michelin stars since 1988. Linda and I dined there about 18 years ago and did not think that it lived up to its reputation or very high prices. But it continues to get ecstatic raves from sophisticated reviewers so we returned for dinner on October 8, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan, Nice

November 5, 2013

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, after training as a cook in his native South Africa, in 2006 moved to France where he had a variety of jobs  He opened his own restaurant, Jan, in Nice in September 2013. Linda and I went for dinner a month later, on October 29, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Le Bistro Gourmand, Nice 2

October 29, 2013

David Vaqué and his wife Laurence opened Le Bistro Gourmand in October, 2010. Linda and I went for dinner just after Christmas that year. We found it enjoyable, but not inspiring. I wrote that it would be interesting to follow its progress. Le Bistro Gourmand received a Michelin star in 2012. We returned for dinner on October 4, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Le Petit Nice, Marseille

October 22, 2013

Le Petit Nice gets its name from its warm micro-climate site along the corniche south of central Marseille. It was founded in 1917 by Germain Passédat, the grandfather of the present chef, Gérald Passédat. His father, Jean-Paul, took over Le Petit Nice in 1954 and still runs the 16-room hotel, which is part of the establishment. Jean-Paul gained a Michelin star in 1977 and a second in 1981. In 1985 Gérald took over the kitchen after eight years of training in several of France’s best known restaurants. In 2008 he won the third Michelin star. Linda and I had dined at Le Petit Nice about ten years ago. We returned to stay and for dinner on September 12, 2013.

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Although L’Hostellerie Jérôme is our favorite restaurant within a half-hour drive from our house, we had not been for two years until we returned with John and Carol on June 26, 2013. The old part of La Turbie was bright with flowers in pots and window boxes on this warm June evening.
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Christophe Bacquié, born in 1972, grew up in Corsica at Lumio, where his step-father ran a hotel. After hotel school, he worked in restaurants in Paris and on the Côte d’Azur, returning to Corsica in 1997 at the age of 25.  At La Villa in Calvi in 2007 he became the first Michelin two-star chef in Corsica. In 2009 he took on a new challenge as chef at Le MonteCristo in the Hôtel du Castellet. The following year Michelin awarded him two stars again.  Read the rest of this entry »

Only one restaurant gained a third star in the 2013 Michelin Guide for France, La Vague d’Or in the hotel, La Résidence de la Pinède, in Saint Tropez. Its 35-year-old chef, Arnaud Donckele, thus became the youngest, as well as the newest, of the 27 top-ranked chefs in France. This, of course, generated many enthusiastic articles about him in the general and gastronomic press. So Linda and I had high expectations when we went for dinner, and to stay, the night of June 5, 2013.

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Agua, Nice

June 11, 2013

Chef Alexis Frasca, with his brother Serge in charge of the dining room, opened Agua last year. It is set one street back from the Old Port of Nice with its many types of yachts, including small commercial fishing boats which serve primarily restaurants. Read the rest of this entry »

Pascal Bardet, 36, was Chef de Cuisine at the famous Louis XV in Monte Carlo from 2007 until he left in 2011, ending a 17-year career in restaurants directed by his mentor, Alain Ducasse. In October 2011 he was named the new Chef de Cuisine of restaurant La Passagère in the Hôtel Belles Rives in Juan-les-Pins. This hotel was founded in 1929 in what had been the Villa Saint-Louis, the home of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in 1925 and 1926.  Its hiring of Pascal Bardet would seem to show ambitions for Michelin stars and a more upscale clientèle.  Linda and I went for dinner on December 20, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Christian Morisset, after serving as sous-chef to Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins, succeeded Alain Ducasse in 1987 as chef at La Terrasse de l’Hôtel Juana.  When Morisset left La Terrasse in 2005, he still had the two Michelin stars which Ducasse had earned there eighteen years before. Two years later Morisset started his own restaurant, Le Figuier de Saint Esprit, in old Antibes.  Linda and I went for lunch on December 21, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Bacon, Cap d’Antibes

November 27, 2012

In 1948, in this beautiful setting, the Sordello family started a stand selling pan bagnat. Two years later they opened a fish restaurant here. In 1979 it gained a Michelin star, which it still has. Linda and I had not been there for many years when we returned for lunch on October 10, 2012, after stops at the Ceramics Biennale in Vallauris and the Marché Provençale in Old Antibes.

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Le Chantecler, Nice

November 20, 2012

The Negresco Hotel will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. Its restaurant, Le Chantecler, has been the most prestigious in Nice for a long time. In 1978 Jacques Maximin took over as its chef and earned two Michelin stars two years later. He left in 1988, but Le Chantecler kept these two stars through successive chefs, Dominique Le Stanc and Alain Llorca. But after Llorca’s departure in 2004, the second star was lost. Jean-Denis Rieubland took over the kitchen in 2007 and the second star was restored this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Mirazur, Menton 7

November 13, 2012

Steve and his Linda invited my Linda and me to dinner at Mirazur on September 26, 2012.  Steve is well known to many of the world’s top chefs, so we were warmly greeted by chef Mauro Colagreco. He said he would construct a menu for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Michel Trama, Puymirol

November 6, 2012

Michel Trama was kicking around in little jobs until he met and married Maryse. Together, in 1974, they took over management of a bistro on the rue Mouffetard in Paris where he learned how to cook on the job. But they tired of city life and, in 1978, moved to Puymirol and opened Restaurant Michel Trama in a 13th century bastide, the former residence of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse. Read the rest of this entry »

September 12, 2012, the morning after our arrival and excellent dinner at Les Prés d’Eugénie, we enjoyed a lavish breakfast in our room. Read the rest of this entry »

We had an excellent, memorable experience at Les Prés d’Eugénie four years before, so Linda and I were expecting a lot when we arrived for a two night stay on September 11, 2012.  Read the rest of this entry »

Michel Sarran, Toulouse

October 16, 2012

Michel Sarran’s mother was the owner and cook of an inn in the nearby Armagnac region. He trained under several of France’s top chefs and opened this  restaurant under his own name in Toulouse in 1995. It gained a Michelin star the following year and its second in 2003. Linda and I went for dinner on September 10, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Akrame, Paris

July 10, 2012

Akrame Benallal, 30, opened his Paris restaurant, Akrame, last spring and received a Michelin star this year. He has received several top awards as a most promising young chef. Linda and I went for dinner the evening of June 14, 2012.

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Tante Louise, Paris

July 3, 2012

Tante Louise was founded in 1929 by Louise Lefeuvre, a chef who brought traditional French cuisine from the Franche-Comté to Paris. In August 1998 it was taken over by the late Bernard Loiseau, then owner of the legendary Côte-d’Or in Saulieu in Burgundy, which still has the three Michelin stars it has held most of the time since 1935. The Bernard Loiseau Group still owns Tante Louise. As it was just up the street from our hotel, Le Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, Linda and I went for lunch on June 14, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Kei, Paris

June 26, 2012

After seven years working at the Plaza Athénée, chef Kei Kobayashi opened his restaurant last year in the spot which was Gerard Besson before. Joëlle joined Linda and me for dinner there the evening of June 13, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Chef Alain Dutournier opened this restaurant near the Place Vendôme in 1986, but Linda and I had never been until we went for dinner the evening of June 12, 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Chef Olivier Streiff, 36, opened La Raison Gourmande in December 2011. It is in the Palais d’Anglais, built in 1885 as Beaulieu’s first upscale hotel, opposite the train station. The spot was used by the okay restaurant Les Agaves since before we came to Beaulieu-sur-Mer twenty-five years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Keisuke Matsushima, Nice 4

February 7, 2012

When Linda and I went back to Keisuke Matsushima with Christine for dinner on October 17, 2011, it had been almost three years since our last visit. Read the rest of this entry »

Mirazur, Menton 6

January 31, 2012

On October 8, 2011, Linda and I returned to Mirazur for lunch with Tony. It had been two years since our previous visit. Read the rest of this entry »

Le Candille, Mougins

December 27, 2011

Le Candille is the restaurant of Le Mas Candille, a Relais & Château hotel and spa on the outskirts of Mougins, near Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. Under chef Serge Gouloumès it has had a Michelin star since 2005. Nicole and Daniel invited Linda and me to join them for lunch at Le Candille with Chantal and Roger on October 3, 2011.

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Linda and I ate at La Villa Archange in October 2010 a few months after it opened and was still not in any of the guides. I wrote then that, if I were a Michelin inspector, I would have no trouble recommending two stars. Last March Michelin did award the two stars, which is an unusual achievement for a new restaurant even when the chef is well known. So Linda and I were looking forward to a fine meal when we returned to La Villa Archange for dinner on September 7, 2011.

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On June 15, 2011, Basil and Clare invited us to dinner at L’Hostellerie Jérôme. Read the rest of this entry »

L’Aphrodite, Nice 3

August 2, 2011

David Faure is one of the most versatile of the young chefs in Nice. He offers a menu with cutting edge cooking techniques. His regular menu includes at least one traditional niçois specialty in each course, although it may be updated. It also includes dishes with Asian or exotic influences. Read the rest of this entry »

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