La Villa Archange, Le Cannet

November 2, 2010

In May 2007 we had a superb meal at La Villa de Lys in the Majestic Hotel in Cannes. The chef was Bruno Oger, who had been named chef of the year in 2000 by Gault-Millau. Despite its two-star Michelin rating, the management of the hotel decided to close the restaurant. Bruno Oger then began the process of constructing a restaurant complex in Le Cannet, up the hill from Cannes. It finally opened in May 2010.
The modern wing on the left includes a bistro with a terrace and a bar (where one can eat casually.) Both are open every day. Behind them are the kitchens. On the right is the “restaurant gastronomique,” La Villa Archange, named after a neighboring old chapel. There is a connecting corridor in the back. The patio in the middle serves as a dining terrace in good weather. Linda and I went for lunch on Friday October 8, 2010.  (Lunch is only offered on Friday and Saturday in La Villa Archange. It is closed Sunday and Monday in the evening.)

The chef’s wife is an artist; her works adorn the walls.

The champagne cart was wheeled up to our table shortly after we were seated. We ordered glasses of Billecart-Salmon champagne. We chose the mid-priced menu of three offered at 70 €, 125 € and 150 €, ambitious prices for a restaurant not yet listed in any guide. We were the only diners at this lunch.  We ordered a bottle of 2007 Cuvée St. Pierre made by the monks at the abbey on the Iles de Lérins, just offshore from Cannes. It is a good mix of Clairette and Chardonnay. 

The hors d’œuvres were foie gras with hazelnuts in a cotton candy lollipop, a small clam, a small barbajuan, a thin little tart like a pissaladière and a beet mousse on top of foie gras with smoked eel.

We enjoyed these.

Excellent bread was put on the table.

The amuse-gueule was a truffle tortellino with a parmesan foam.

The truffle effect was very good, but I have never understood pairing it with parmesan, although that is not unusual.

The first course was
Méli-Mélo d’Artichauts Poivrade,
Champignons du Moment à l’Huile de Noix

After the plate was put on the table, a frothy broth of lettuce juice with walnut oil was poured around the artichokes, cèpes and girolles. This was refreshing and good.

Cappucino de Grenouille à l’Ail Doux

This course was a key reason why we chose this menu. We had fond memories of this signature dish at La Villa de Lys. This one was different in that it had a sweet garlic timbale in the middle, the foam was in a separate mound and there was no deep-fried frog’s leg. But there were probably more deboned frog’s legs in this one. It was very good and we were happy to have it again.

Granité Pomme Verte à la Pulpe et Gelée au Champagne

This menu was neither large nor rich enough to need this intermezzo.

Turbot de ligne aux Coquillages et Caviar d’Aquitaine

The piece of turbot was top quality and well cooked. It was dressed with a shellfish broth. In back are thin potato rectangles with good French caviar. Very good.

Traou Mad à la Vanille aux Fruits Exotiques

On the bottom is a biscuit invented in the Breton artist town, Pont Aven. It is topped with a sort of vanilla crème brulée square. There is a sauce and a sorbet of “exotic” fruits. We enjoyed this very much.

Les Délices des Anges

These were all top quality.

Iced chocolate cubes finished the meal.

They were good and not too sweet.

We enjoyed our meal. It was consistently good with no courses we did not appreciate. If I were a Michelin inspector, I would have no trouble recommending two stars. The price seemed justified. The service was friendly and efficient; the pace was just right. We appreciated the decor, the well-spaced tables and the classical music.

On the way out we had a brief chat with the chef in the patio. We certainly wish him well.

To see our meal from Bruno Oger over three years ago click here.


One Response to “La Villa Archange, Le Cannet”

  1. Timothy P Ojile Says:

    I am totally envious! I visited the previous visit, too. This one appeals as much as the previous. Timothy

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