Keisuke Matsushima, Nice 5
June 3, 2014
Keisuke Matsushima’s eponymous restaurant in Nice continues its success and retains its Michelin star. He has expanded his group to two other restaurants in Nice and one in Tokyo. Keisuke Matsushima restaurant sticks to its formula of Provençale, particularly Niçoise, cuisine with a few Japanese touches. Linda and I returned for dinner on May 27, 2014.
The apéritif cart was wheeled to our table and we were poured glasses of 2004 Bruno-Paillard Champagne.
cromesquis d’aubergines and panisses au stockfish niçois,
the eggplant fritters were freshly fried, bringing out the flavor of the vegetable; the little chickpea cakes were topped with the local specialty of reconstituted dried cod cooked with tomatoes;
We ordered the Menu dégustation “Collection,” a bottle of 2011 Chapoutier “Invitare” Condrieu and a half bottle of 2009 Château Simone rouge.
These wines were very good and just right with the cuisine.
The first course was
Caviar d’Esturgeon Blanc
tartare de poisson, gelée de poisson au gingembre, wasabi, ciboulette
Caviar topped chopped raw fish and a gingered fish jelly. The mix of elegant fish flavors was enhanced with wasabi and chives.
en salade, courgettes trompettes et ses fleurs farcis, jus de ratatouille, sauce pistou
This was somewhat different from its menu description. The chunks of lobster meat were on top of a lobster glaze. There were sorbets of sweet red peppers, zucchini and white onions. Trumpet zucchini strips were wrapped around a light lobster mousse. Very good.
Foie gras de canard du Gers
aux nougats de Provence, fruits de printemps, fleur de sel de Camargue
A silky rectangle of duck foie gras was topped with a nougat mousse and seasonal strawberries: an imaginative combination that worked well.
Gamberonis de la pêche de San Remo
rôti à l’orange” mimosa”, févettes sautées, artichauts confit, riquettes
Two of the famous pink shrimp of San Remo were garnished with local seasonal vegetables and a thin candied orange slice. Nice.
croûte de pomme de terre, champignons de Paris, vinaigrette de truffes d’été, salade mesclun
A piece of Mediterranean sea bass had been cooked in a potato crust. It was served on a mushroom sauce and green beans. On top were thin slices of white mushrooms and surprisingly flavorful summer truffles. Very good.
Mille-Feuilles de Boeuf “Simmenthal”
juste saisi au wasabi saveur japonaise
Three thin slices of very good beef had been interleaved with a mild wasabi sauce that really enhanced the flavor. Alongside were three tempura vegetables.
The cheese trolley was large enough to offer variety, but small enough that the cheeses could be just ripe. I chose Comté, a sheep’s milk cheese and Pont-l’Évêque.
Fraises des Bois
infusées à la rose, sorbet fromage blanc
Wild strawberries were lightly cooked in a rose petal sauce and served with a sorbet of fromage blanc.
Chocolat noir “Manjari”
mousse de chocolat au safran, gelée de fruits de la passion, sorbet azur
A mousse of dark Madagascar chocolate was flavored with saffron and interleaved with a passion fruit gel and chocolate wafers.
Finally there were good mignardises.
The cuisine was very good, keeping a consistent style in two of our favorites: Provençale and Japanese. While there was sometimes more complexity than I usually like, it seemed to work here. The restaurant’s décor is spare, the noise level low and the service okay. The pace became annoyingly slow for a menu of small plates. We were there for 3 1/2 hours; the restaurant was 3/4 full. The patron/chef was in evidence, but did not seem to be helping in the kitchen; we had a nice conversation with him.
The restaurant’s website:
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