La Jarre

April 30, 2005

14 rue St Esprit,  Antibes;  04 93 3450 12, 

Three years ago Nathalie and Frédéric Ramos bought this charming Provençal style mas with its centuries old fig tree in the center of its dining room terrace, which is open in the summer and closed and warm in winter.  Not only did they change the menu, but they changed the hours, opening at lunch and staying open all winter. 

Since Ramos was a disciple of Maximin, he uses the products, tastes and traditions of the south; and adds his own twist.  At lunch, for instance, there are two menus—one at 32 euros with no choices and one at 40 with some choices.   Not wanting the risotto with gambas on the smaller menu, we both opted for the larger menu: a great choice.   

We were treated to two amuse bouches:  one, a cappachino of chestnuts and the other a socca which was more like a small crepe.  Gary’s terrine of foie gras which followed was superb, but the salad garnish was a little salty.  Varian’s soup de poisson was perfect.  Both of us chose onglets, served in rich, dark sauce with a hint of balsamic vinegar.  The sauce was such a stand-out that
Gary just “had” to mop it up with bread.  The cheese course (no choice) was a chevre with oil and rosemary and a St Nectaire, accompanied by a dark olive bread. The crème brulleé was better than the chocolate banana tart, but both were worth the calories. After, they served us a basket of dried fruits and nuts, some cream puffs and meringues.

La Jarre not only presents a visually pleasing atmosphere, but it is exceedingly friendly.  Madame Ramos is very friendly and gave us her full attention; easy enough, since we were the only diners.  But we never felt that they couldn’t wait to get us out and take their afternoon nap.   

After our champagne, we drank a 2000 Pomerol, Chateau Mazeyres at 78 euros. 


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