Keisuke Matsushima, Nice 4

February 7, 2012

When Linda and I went back to Keisuke Matsushima with Christine for dinner on October 17, 2011, it had been almost three years since our last visit. The décor is still very simple with a few striking flower arrangements. The restaurant was only half full when we arrived at 8:00, but almost filled up during the evening.

We ordered glasses of Champagne and looked at the menu while we enjoyed the hors d’œuvres.

The beignets were crisp and light. The salted candied cherry tomatoes are always served. The quickly fried shrimp were crunchy and good. There were à la carte selections, a nine-course tasting menu and, our choice, the Menu “Saveur d’automne” at only 38€. We ordered a bottle of 2008 Domaine de Vernay « Les Chaillées d’Enfer » Condrieu. Excellent.

The first course was

A fluffy herring mousse was topped with zucchini shards and caviar. Nice.

The second was
Champignon des Bois
en raviole ouvert, émulsion de champignon de Paris

I do not know what kind of mushrooms were underneath or how Kei got so much flavor in the foamy sauce from ordinary champignons de Paris, but this dish had a lovely woodsy flavor of the season.

Third was
rôtie en croûte aux olives noires, gnocchis de pomme de terre « merda di Can »

The good chunk of monkfish was encrusted with a black olive paste and roasted. It was surrounded with gnocchi made from a traditional local recipe using potatoes, chard and sage. The sauce seemed to be a veal stock reduction. Very good.

Dessert was
Figues noires
en tartelette, mousse de ricotta, crumble de sel, granité et croquant de violette, sorbet pêche blanche

The black figs atop a ricotta mousse had been baked in a little tartelette. It was topped with a crisp wafer. The sorbet was nice, but it wasn’t of white peaches as shown on the menu, as it was well past their season.

The meal was enjoyable, although it seemed more ordinary than our previous meals at Keisuke Matsushima. I shouldn’t be critical of that as we did not order the big menu. Previous meals have always had Japanese touches, such as a bit of wasabi, but this one had none. The service was friendly, but the pace was very slow, which was not a problem for us as we had plenty to discuss with Christine. Here are the ladies as we left:

The restaurant’s website:

The chef’s blog:

To see our last meal at Keisuke Matshushima:

The chef spent most of the evening, not in the kitchen, but delivering trays of dishes to tables. The menu cover has his face imposed on the poster of Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, with various culinary touches.

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