Le Chantecler, Nice 3

October 14, 2014

Just before last Christmas, Linda and I had enjoyed a superb holiday menu at Le Chantecler, so we were looking forward to an excellent meal when we returned there for dinner with John and Kathy the evening of October 4, 2014.

Shortly after we were seated, the Champagne cart was wheeled up to our table.
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Three of us had glasses of the Henriot Brut while Kathy had the Champagne rosé.

A little tray of exquisite hors d’œuvres arrived.
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A pumpkin bisque, a foie gras tidbit and curried shrimp. 

We contemplated the menu and decided to order à la carte. From the enormous wine list we chose two local wines: Clos Saint Vincent « Vino di Gio » Bellet blanc from old Rolle vines and 2007 Saint Sauveur, a powerful old vine Syrah from L’Abbaye de Lérins. Both were very enjoyable and right with the cuisine.

The amuse-gueule was a cream of white coco beans with a dab of duck foie gras in the middle.
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The first course for John and Kathy was
Les tomates anciennes, rouges et jaunes, burrata à l’huile vierge,
Sorbet tomate-basilic et coeur de sucrine craquante.
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They thought that this was really excellent. The ripe seasonal tomatoes were enhanced with a tomato gel, a basil sorbet and crisp lettuce. Alongside was a dome of yellow tomato in a good burrata, a combination of mozzarella and heavy cream.

Linda had
Les cannellonis de tourteaux à la mangue, marmelade d’agrumes,
caviar prestige et crème parfumée de combava. (No photo.)
Three rolls of crab mixture had different flavors and different toppings.  Piment d’espelette that was not in the description was obvious in the crab mixture. Linda’s favorite was the roll with caviar topping.

Mine was
Les langoustines rôties aux piments d’Espelette,
cromesquis de tête de veau aux feuilles de roquette.

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The three meaty langoustines were excellent, but the beignets of tête de veau had gone astray. Inside the spheres was diced veal with vinegary, grainy mustard: not good.

Linda’s main course was
Le ris de veau clouté au chorizo, fricassée de girolles et petits oignons,
macaronis dorés, jus court de braisage.
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The veal sweetbread was perfectly prepared, tender and had excellent flavor.  The chorizo slices were folded to look like flowers and balanced on the crispy macaroni barques along with very tender onions.  A really superb dish.

John’s was
Selle d’agneau piquée à l’olive noire, socca au basilic,
côtes de blettes et aubergine, jus d’arlequin de poivrons.
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John wrote: “Having ordered it rare, I was dismayed to have it arrive medium to almost well done and rather flavorless and dry; very disappointing.”

Kathy and I shared a
Côte de boeuf de l’Aubrac rôtie aux girolles, pommes soufflées,
courgette violon, jus des sucs à la tomate jaune confite.
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A big piece of perfectly cooked Aubrac grass-fed lean beef was presented and carved alongside our table. It was dressed with girolle mushrooms and a sauce of its juices and confit yellow tomatoes. Alongside was a basket of souffléed potatoes and beignets of zucchini flowers. This course was delicious.

The main courses had been so substantial that we did not have cheese or dessert.

Both rooms of the restaurant were almost full on this Saturday night, but the pace was inexplicably slow. The service was not what it should be here; it had a cold and stiff demeanor seemingly distant and detached from the customers.  Except for one and a half courses, the cuisine was exceptionally good.


To see our meal last December at Le Chantecler click here.

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