June 10, 2014
One of Keisuke Matsushima’s three restaurants in Nice was transformed earlier this year. He opened Poséidon in March, 2014, in the site of his former Japanese restaurant, Saison. Kei changed the formula to a fish and seafood restaurant. Linda and I went to Poséidon for dinner the evening of May 13, 2014.
The name plays homage to Nice’s Greek heritage by the sea as Nikaïa, but also to a large sculpture of the Greek sea god Poséidon by Sacha Sosno. The sculpture was erected on the boulevard de la Californie in the west of Nice in 2006. Poséidon has a little model of the statue which was brought to our table. Kei is a fan of the Nice school of contemporary artists and has opened a bistro named L’Ecole de Nice.
The menu for each month has three choices in each of starters, mains and desserts. This limited choice helps maintain the level of freshness of the ingredients. There are three formulas : three courses for 35€, four for 50€ or six for 70€, all except the cheese chosen from the printed list. We ordered the six courses and a bottle of 2010 Château de Crémat Bellet blanc from the hills in the northwest of Nice.
It was just right with the seafood cuisine and was appropriately local, like most of it.
Our first course was
Carpaccio de Daurade Royale
Légumes à la grecques
The fish was very good, but we only ate a small amount of the vegetables. They were overly vinegared, which is usually the case with anything identified as à la grecque.
Cannellonis de betterave aux crabe et pommes,
sauce aux agrumes
Thin slices of red beetroot surrounded a mousse of beet and crab. They were topped with sticks of crisp green apple and garnished with citrus bits. This was very good. The crab flavor was not submerged.
Calamar à la Plancha,
panisses, sauce aïoli
The squid had been seared just the right amount on the hot plancha. The aïoli was nice and garlicky; the chick pea cakes were hot, fresh and good. The only flaw in this very good dish was that too much good balsamic vinegar had been put on the salad.
Loup en croûte de pomme de terre,
sauce pistou, trofiés et haricots verts
A cigar-shaped piece of Mediterranean sea bass had been wrapped in a thin potato crust. It was then deep fried, which preserved and brought out the flavor of the fish. Underneath were green beans, little pasta twists and the niçois version of pesto. (Italian purists, such as this blog’s faithful reader and commenter, Sam, will be horrified that pasta is used this way. In neighboring Liguria, trofie, green beans, potatoes and pesto are a frequent combination, not as vegetable, but as a separate pasta course.)
Linda’s dessert was
Millefeuilles aux Fraises du pays,
mousseline à la vanille
The fresh, seasonal strawberries went very well with the pastry cream and the pastry rectangles. The ball seemed to be iced pastry cream enhanced with butter and a lot of vanilla bean. Excellent.
We had a very good time. The cuisine was well composed with excellent fresh, mostly local, ingredients. Only the two cases of excessively acidic garnishes were flaws, but they didn’t spoil the main ingredients of their dishes. The sea bass in potato crust was an exceptionally good dish. The pace was just right. The noise level was low as we were the only diners on this Tuesday evening and the music was thoughtfully selected for our generation. The Maître d’Hôtel, Didier Roucoux, ran a one man show in the dining room: serving, explaining, clearing, chatting and answering our questions. As we left, the Chef de Cuisine, Daisuke Masuda, came out of the kitchen to say hello, receive our compliments and pose for a photo.
17, rue Gubernatis
Tél. (0)4 93 85 69 04