Le Roquebrune

July 12, 2010

On June 6, 2010, Françoise invited Linda and me to lunch at Le Roquebrune. This “Hôtel de Charme et Restaurant sur réservation” is located on the Corniche Inferieure where it is joined by the Moyenne Corniche east of Monaco. It has a stunning view of the beach below and of the west side of Cap Martin.

Linda and I had dined at Le Roquebrune many years ago when it was a restaurant with a Michelin star. Alain Ducasse used to love it when he lived full time in Monaco. We remember the parasailers gliding by us on their way down to the beach below, an activity that is now restricted to evening hours when the beach is not populated.

Le Roquebrune was closed as a restaurant in 2003 and transformed into a five-room bed and breakfast with a dining option by Patricia and Marine, daughters of the founder. They are now expanding the hotel and taking meal reservations from outsiders a day in advance so that ingredients can be bought. Françoise had ordered the bouillabaisse for us.

We started with glasses of champagne while we enjoyed the view from the terrace.

We went on to a lovely bottle of Château de Bellet, the white wine which has been grown in the northwest corner of Nice since the Romans.

Bouillabaisse is usually quite filling so we were surprised to be served copious starters. Petits farcis niçois are a local specialty which can get boring quickly, but these were varied and excellent. The meat stuffing was delicious and not too much, allowing each vegetable retain its identity. There were also freshly braised artichokes.

As we were finishing, more farcis were passed along with hot, light beignets de fleurs de courgettes, tempura of zucchini blossoms.

This was followed by a beignets of slices of eggplant with a tomato sauce.

Then the fish of the bouillabaisse were then shown to us and served with their broth and a very garlicky rouille. It was delicious, although not a purely classic version.


Finally there was a light strawberry and meringue dessert.

The meal was excellent, although too much. It was notable for its local specialties. For another time I would suggest just a good fish for the main course. The ambience was delightful with our hostess ensuring that we were taken care of in all respects. Brava.


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