Auberge du Soleil/Coaraze
May 18, 2006
04 93 79 08 11
It’s only 25 kilometers from Nice but when you get to Coaraze, at an alitutde of 640 meters, you could be in another world. Since getting there is half the fun for us, we took the scenic route, stopping in Falicon to walk around this charming old town, and then up the D19 through Teourrette-Levens. We then turned west on the D815 toward Contes, and this may have been the most beautiful leg of the journey.
Finally, we went north on the D15 to Coaraze, whose welcome sign boasts it is one of the most beautiful villages in France. And they are right. Park where you can and then walk through the cobblestone streets to the Auberge du Soleil, now under the helm of a friendly young couple. He is out in the kitchen, the chef, and she is in the front of the room. There are five tables, all on the enclosed terrace. Gary started with salade de bressaola, tuiles de parmesan and Varian with salade tiéde de gambas, served in a tulipe shell on a bed of lettuce with some grilled eggplant. The presentation of both was artful and sophisticated, and the portions were extremely generous.
Gary followed with travers de porc grilles au mile and Varian tucked into the entrecote grille, sauced with a knob of beurre maître d’hôtel. Both plates were garnished with ratatouille and roasted potatoes and salad vinaigrette. A nice assortment of four cheeses followed and then coffee. Throughout we drank a nice Bandol rouge which at €21 was very pleasant. The prices on the whole are extremely fair, entrées range between €5.50 and €10, while plats are between €10 and €l4. The cheese plate is €5 and desserts, are €4-6. The view from any of the tables on the terrace is out over a garden and east to mountains; beyond, and unseen, is Nice. The service is relaxed. The food is delicious and copious. And the chef has been trained correctly. He knows what he is doing.