L’Aphrodite, Nice 4

June 9, 2015

David Faure of L’Aphrodite is one of the most versatile of the young chefs in Nice. He promotes niçoise cuisine through Les Toques Brûlées, an association of niçois chefs, of which he is the president. Linda and I returned to Aphrodite, which had just celebrated its tenth anniversary, on May 19, 2015.

This was the view from my seat.
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There were eight tables filled, three of which were having the Menu “R…”évolution. On our first visit to L’Aphrodite, in 2007, we enjoyed this molecular menu when it seemed very avant garde. It is still mostly the same menu, which does not seem so revolutionary to us now, but is still a great experience for those have it for the first time. It helps create a celebratory atmosphere in the restaurant.

We ordered glasses of champagne. This was followed by a bottle of 2012 Perrin Réserve Rouge, a pleasant Côte de Rhône red wine from the family of Château Beaucastel.

Thin breadsticks were put on the table with dips of tomato, brousse and something else.
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A menu of niçois specialties is offered, which I had planned to order, but it seemed a bit heavy for this warm spring evening.
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We ordered the menu L’Inclination des Mêts, three courses, with a choice of four dishes in each course, for 47€. There is at least one updated niçoise dish offered in each course. The bread basket was passed and butter with Roscoff seaweed and fleur de sel de Guérande was put on the table.
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The amuse-gueule was a glass of tomato and pineapple gazpacho topped with an arugula foam alongside a walnut mustard with a candied cherry tomato.
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This let you know that the meal would be somewhat out-of-the-ordinary. 

Linda’s first course was
Gaspacho de P’tits Pois aux Amandes & Œufs de Caille coulants,
Légumes de saison en cuit/cru,
une râpée de Poutargue pour un Blanc en neige
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The pea and almond gazpacho was very good, but there was too little of it to go with the pile of vegetables and the round of whipped egg whites in the center of the dish: carrots, bean shoots, radish slice, peas in their pod, raw onion, tiny asparagus, quail egg.   A lot more pea soup would have helped make the dish.

My starter was
Sardines farcies à la Niçoise & Panisses croustillantes,
Tomates citronnées aux Herbes fraîches
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The deep-fried sardines had a stuffing of their own meat and aromatic herbs.  It was not obvious what the garnishes in front were. The red granules came from tomatoes and the green was a pistou. The spires were sucrine lettuce, big chives and thin chickpea flour cakes, which you cannot see in the photo, but which added crunch. Enjoyable and niçoise.

Linda’s second course was
La Truite de la Vésubie & chlorophylle de Cresson de fontaine,
Oignon rouge confit, le jus des arrêtes en Sabayon,
le Foie séché/râpé

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The trout from the Vésubie, a river in the hills behind Nice, was nicely half cooked.  There was a small amount of sabayon in an onion skin atop the dish, but the taste was not strong. A red onion with two small white mushrooms were in the watercress purée, along with some trout roe.

My main was
La Chèvre du Mont Baudon de Serge Mariotto,
L’épaule confite sur l’os en compressé,
un morceau rôti aux baies de Genévrier sauvage
Le reste en raviole de daube enfumée au foin.
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The goat meat had been prepared in several different ways. The shoulder was confit on the bone and a more tender part roasted with juniper berries. A tougher part had been slowly braised in wine and served alongside inside a big raviolo. There were a goat glaze and appropriate vegetables. Substantial and good.

Linda’s dessert was
Tata’Tatinn ! ce n’est pas de la tarte…
Mais aussi Pom Pom Pom tout pomme

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The title of this tarte tatin is meant to invoke the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which our genial server intoned on its arrival.  Excellent combination of apples prepared in various ways.  No heavy sugar taste here.

My dessert was
Ganses & Suzette d’Orange,
Crème Glacée au Lait d’Amande
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These fried beignets, flavored with orange flower, are traditional for Carnival in Nice. They are in the form of the scarfs which men wear during the festivities. The orange wedges had been prepared as for Crêpes Suzette. The almond ice cream was the finishing touch on a fine dessert. 

A tray of mignardises finished things off.
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These had various flavors, but were all too sweet.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal for its good local ingredients, imaginatively and competently prepared.  David Faure is a talented and versatile chef. The welcome and service are particularly warm and jovial. The pace was just right. The staff and the other diners enjoying themselves enhance the ambiance.


To see all of our meals at L’Aphrodite , including the first molecular one, click here.


2 Responses to “L’Aphrodite, Nice 4”

  1. Michael West Says:

    Linda and Michael,
    I continue to enjoy reading about your wonderful food experiences.
    The most recent L’Aphrodite entry brought back the fond memory of the evening we shared at the resturaunt several years ago.
    Thank you and best regards,
    Michael W.

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