Le Bistro Gourmand, Nice 2
October 29, 2013
David Vaqué and his wife Laurence opened Le Bistro Gourmand in October, 2010. Linda and I went for dinner just after Christmas that year. We found it enjoyable, but not inspiring. I wrote that it would be interesting to follow its progress. Le Bistro Gourmand received a Michelin star in 2012. We returned for dinner on October 4, 2013.
We chose the day’s Menu Gourmand from the fairly complicated offerings. We ordered a bottle of 2003 Domaine de Villeneuve (vieilles vignes) Châteauneuf du Pape rouge. This was excellent, with elegant flavors and a long finish.
The first menu course was
Artichaut en barigoule, réduction d’agrumes, roquette, citron confit, olive de Nice et truffes d’été.
This is a traditional Provençale preparation, although no one seems to know where the word barigoule comes from or what it means. The recipes vary, but in all of them small artichokes of the region are braised with other Provençale ingredients. This was a good example using a citrus reduction, preserved lemons, arugula, niçois olives and summer truffle slices.
“Démon” Risotto noir, poêlée de homard Européen et chorizo Ibérique, cappuccino poivron gingembre.
Moving on from a traditional preparation, the next course was imaginative and picturesque. Black rice had been used to make a quite chewy risotto. It was topped with a froth of sweet red peppers and ginger mixed with lobster chunks and spicy sausage. This was to enjoy slowly in small bites.
Pigeon « royal » rôti, palet de polenta blanche farci de figue, chutney figues, sauce porto rouge.
The thigh and breast of a pigeon were served with creamy white polenta enhanced with fig bits, accompanied by chutney fig wedges. The port wine sauce made this quite a rich, satisfying dish.
The meal was enjoyable, mixing four different styles of cuisine. The service was friendly and efficient; the pace was right and the noise level fine. Bravo.