Stephane Viano Restaurant – Nice

May 9, 2007

On May 4, 2007, Linda and I dined at Stephane Viano. We had been intrigued by it ever since we read Varian and Gary’s blog post from last October describing the team which had come to this restaurant from one of our old favorites in Nice, Don Camillo.We were immediately recognized and received a warm welcome. Kirs royales were offered to us while we looked at the menu, which seemed quite familiar with its updated Niçoise cuisine. There is a 32€ menu with three choices each for the starter and the main course. We chose the 58€ surprise Menu Lou Mourelec with a starter, a fish, a meat, cheese and dessert. We ordered a bottle of 2003 Château Vannières Bandol rouge, which would go well with whatever was coming.  

p5040007a.jpgMy amuse-gueule was a glass of fresh gazpacho, while Linda, who had asked not to be served anything acidic, such as tomatoes, had a slice of the rabbit “porchetta,” a lighter version of the traditional Niçois pork dish. 

p5040011a.jpgOur first course was a pastilla of broccoli, topped with a piece of sautéed foie gras and a spoonful of a thick coulis of beets with truffle oil.



Our second course was a risotto of “forbidden rice” p5040015a.jpgtopped with rouget filets interleaved with thin foie gras slices. Rougets are a small local Mediterranean fish which are very tasty when fresh, as these were.

We were then given a glass of champagne with a small dose of lime sorbet. 


The main course was thickly sliced rounds of saddle of lamb with herbs. It was served with croquettes of hand-smashed truffled potatoes. 



The cheese course had two slices of three different cheeses, a fresh goat cheese, a Brie and a tomme, with a nice mesclun salad.



We chose our desserts from a large board. Linda had the thin warm apple tart.



I chose the strawberry millefeuille. 

There were only twelve diners on this Friday evening; one table of four ladies was celebrating a birthdayp5040021a.jpg, a dessert arrived with a big sparkler and the whole room sang “Joyeux Anniversaire.” We were told that they are usually full for weekday lunches as the neighbourhood has quite a few upscale businesses. We appreciated the chef’s efforts to be imaginative for us and to use upscale ingredients, such as the foie gras, truffle oil and rougets. But he is not Pierre Gagnaire and I can’t say that broccoli, beets and foie gras together are a great invention. He is at his best when updating traditional Niçoise cuisine and that is what we go there to try. The main course of high-quality spring lamb with fresh green herbs and potatoes that had been given extra care by a good chef was excellent. The next time I will order from the regular menu or order the Lou Mourelec again asking that he stick to the Niçois theme. 


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