Le Bistro Gourmand, Nice 3
January 26, 2016
David Vaqué opened Le Bistro Gourmand five years ago. He gained a star in the 2012 Michelin guide, but it was taken away two years later, with no explanation, as usual.
Linda and I went to the nearby Place Massena early in the evening of December 19, 2015. After some successful Christmas shopping at the Galeries Lafayette, we wandered for a while looking at the Christmas lights, the Crystal Palace reflected in the water plain, the Ferris wheel and, finally the long alley of stalls in the Christmas Village. (You can see its entrance between the Ferris wheel and the faux Christmas tree.)
The stands selling cotton candy, socca etc were doing very well with the huge crowds. The most picturesque stands for me were the one offering charcuterie from Corsica and the one next to it with cheese from Savoy.
Having exhausted our tolerance for crowds, we stopped at the bar of the Hotel Beau Rivage for a glass of Champagne and then went on to Le Bistro Gourmand across the street. It had been enlarged and remodeled since our last visit two years before. We were seated in the new dining room.
A family party came later to the table for ten.
There were several menu offerings, but we decided to order à la carte. With the help of the genial sommelier we ordered a bottle of 2010 Méo-Camuzet 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre Fixin.
It was excellent with the chacteristics one looks for in a red Burgundy wine, even a whiff of the barnyard.
The bread basket with a chorizo-flavored whipped butter arrived.
The amuse-gueule was a mussel broth with diced vegetables and truffle shards.
Linda’s first course was
Risotto de saison
The rice had been cooked in a seafood broth; the three sea scallops were top quality, fresh, flavorful and perfectly seared. Excellent.
My starter was
Foie chaud de canard poêlé, billes de poires pochées, purée de poires acidulées, poivre de séchouan.
The slices of duck foie gras had been nicely seared. The pear balls and purée went well. The Szechuan pepper added some welcome spice. Very nice.
Linda’s main course was
Ris de Veau de cœur rôti clouté à la truffes noires, salsifis, épinards, tomates séchées et jus de volaille.
A large veal sweetbread was dressed in a rich brown sauce. The salsify chunks, spinach and black truffle slices went well with it. Very nice.
I went on to
Pigeon « royal »,”Lou Capoun“, purée et chips d’ail, jus de pigeon, tomates séchées et huile de noix.
The slices of pink pigeon breast contrasted with the crispy bits on the end of the legs. The ball of stuffed cabbage is a niçoise specialty that offset the richness of the pigeon. The garlic chips on top of their garlic purée added needed spark. Very good.
The pre-dessert was little glasses of lichee and mango nectar.
Le Soufflé du moment.
This evening the flavor was mango. After serving, a ball of ice cream and a dose of rum was inserted. Just right.
The tray of mignardises was passed.
The meal was very good, certainly deserving of a Michelin star. The ingredients were top quality and the preparation flawless. There were a touch of niçoise and of holiday cuisine, but they were not the main point. The service was very good; the pace was just right and the noise level low. We hope that Michelin will return its star to Le Bistro Gourmand.
To see our meal at Le Bistro Gourmand two years before click here.
To see our meal five years before click here.