Jouni, Atelier du Gout

June 8, 2006

On June 6, 2006, (or 06-06-06, the day of the Alpes Maritimes) Linda and Michael had dinner at Jouni, Atelier du Gout, a small restaurant near the Old Port in Nice. Its young Finnish chef, Jouni Tormanen, received his first Michelin star this year. We started with the house apéritif, a Kir vin rosé, which was seems like a redundant combination. The amuse gueule was a small bowl of a whipped soup with rouget, very good. The menu has a choice of three starters, two main courses and three desserts. For 55€ you get one of each, plus cheese. For 75€, our choice, you get all three starters:

1.  A good salad with pieces of lobster and greens in an oil dressing.

2.  Grilled calamari with a sort of polenta beignet; Jouni said later that this is one of their most popular dishes and is always on the menu. The calamari had real flavor, unlike Kei’s version last week.

3.  A risotto with veal stock and a zucchini garnish which was nice, but a bit bland.

4.  Two pink slices of veal with vegetables etc. Good, but not exciting.  The other main course choice was fish.

5.  A plate of four small pieces of different goat cheeses with three confitures: carrots with cinnamon; red wine; and sweet peppers. We enjoyed it.

6.  Linda had a strawberry concoction and I had a peach soup.

There is a small wine list with several good choices. We discovered later that there is an extensive big wine list printed on request, but I don’t think I would have chosen from it. We had an excellent half bottle of Drouhin’s Beaune Clos de la Mouche white with the two seafood courses. Then a bottle of 2003 Pibernon red Bandol, which showed what a good wine it will be in ten years. The young sommelier thinks he is quite a personality, but he did get our wine to us efficiently. The Chassagne-Montrachet that was poured into our neighbors’ glasses of Condrieu was not his fault. The clientèle is mostly foreign, but seemed to be interested in good food. We talked with the English mother and daughter next to us and shared some wine with them, but not their mixed-up glass. Jouni came around to chat during the dessert. He will be moving at the end of September to the old site of La Réserve on the shore just east of the Old Port in Nice. It was once a well known restaurant, but has been empty for twenty years. One of the waiters told us that there will be an exotic restaurant on one floor and what they have now on the other. All in all it was a good evening. The ambiance, service, cuisine, wine etc were well above what one normally gets on the côte d’azur for a total of 250€ for two. MR 

Addendum: On September 1, 2006, Jouni raised his prices. We went on September 30 and the cuisine is still very good, but the calamari is now a main course. We now understand that the move will take place in November.

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