Food Porn Friday | Nice Edition | French Riviera

Friday, September 09, 2016


I was absolutely thrilled to find that Nice had SO many Michelin Star Chefs serving up some of the tastiest cuisine in the French Riviera. Not that I need to hunt down every $$$ establishment like a total food snob but I allowed us 1 fancy meal per day.  Café Lattes and a croissant for breakfast, a salad or sandwich for lunch, then splurge on dinner so we don’t break the bank while on vacay.

Food Porn Friday | Nice France Edition

Every morning we’d walk a couple blocks to the local cafes and grab a cappuccino and some pastries to start the day.  Lunch was always a super quick nosh fest to prepare for the 2hr+ excursions affectionately known as European supper, lol.  This direction allows us to start super early in the morning and spend all day sightseeing, touring other regions, and simply relax, wine and dine come suppertime without feeling rushed from place to place.


While Nice was chock full of cool Mom and Pop restaurants, casual quick style bars serving up pub faves like pizza and fried goodies, we refined our selections to those that felt very regional to the area.  Namely traditional French cuisine with no English words whatsoever on the menu. 


Le Frog

I found both these local favorites first from Yelp, then cross-referenced when doing actual recon on foot, usually a day before we planned to dine.  Yes, I’m THAT OCD! Lol..  Since our hotel Le Meridien was centrally located no more than a 5 minute walk from Old Town Nice, we concentrated our search to that main area and found some local gems below.


Le Frog is located in Vielle Nice, off the beaten path, and tucked into this quiet little alley off the boisterous brigade of the main promenade.  Minimal, chic, and very green, we sat ourselves on the patio to people watch and enjoy the beautiful beach breeze. 


Le Frog Menu

We started with what else?  Frog legs! Duh!  
I’m sure you’ve heard it tastes like chicken, which it does, but when the French prepare it, it’s smothered with garlic, butter, parsley, garlic, and more garlic! LalalalLOVED this dish and the absolutely decadent escargots that followed.


Le hubs wanted something lite and refreshing since we’d been eating all day and ordered an avocado and shrimp salad while I had duck breast with polenta.  


It was a magical meal made even more fabulous by the conversations we struck up with the servers, who were literally telling us every hotspot to wind down at after our meal.  Of course we never made it to said hotspots and instead sauntered around the Old Town soaking in the sites, the smells, and sounds of this intoxicatingly luxurious seaside city.

3 Rue Milton Robbins
06000 Nice

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La Merenda

La Merenda was our final meal before leaving Nice and I’m so glad I saved it since it left such a lasting impression.  Only 1 chef at the helm, Dominique Le Stance, Michelin trained super chef with a veritable pedigree having worked at fine restaurants all over the Riviera.  


He left his high ranking stations and all his past riches to take over this tiny Mom-and-Pop establishment for the last 12 years. His goal was to simply cook his heart out without all the large kitchen logistics and politics.  Now that is the mark of a truly passionate chef!


La Merenda has been a historical landmark in Nice having served the city for 30 successful years.  The establishment only offers a few seatings per day/evening as the dining room holds no more than 20 people at a time and is only open during lunch for 2 hours (12-2pm) and during dinner for 4 (7-11pm).  


We totally lucked out and snagged the last two available spots for dinner, literally an elbow’s length away from the gals seated next to us.  I’m sure it bugs some Americans to be all up in someone’s grill, but I quite enjoy the close quarters.  What better way to ogle a stranger’s dishes than to see/smell it up close and personal?

La Merenda Menu

We started with this luscious onion tart you see below and breaded sardines stuffed with leafy green market picks of the day. 


House-made pesto pasta came next and you could have heard me moan from a mile away at the first AHMAZZING bite!  It’s been a minute since I enjoyed a plate of carbs this much as I could still taste the perfectly cooked bouncy, chewy noodles as if it was yesterday.  Seriously ridick guys!


For our main dishes le hubs and I both selected the highly recommended beef dishes.  One Daube de Boeuf a la Provencale et Parisse and Queue de Boeuf a l’Orange et Polenta.  


I would typically never order 2 of the same proteins in one meal but they had run out of veal tripe when we arrived and I wasn’t in the mood for stock fish.  I mean he only makes about a dozen dishes every evening so once it’s out, it’s dunzo hunnnies!  


The vernacular translation of La Merenda means “the crust breaks”…. I absolutely LOVE that.  Breaking bread over an authentic Nicoise meal, made with precision, tradition, and above all else, absolute passion.


Insider's tip

They have no phone, they do not take credit cards, and reservations can only be made in person, as a result.  So get there right when they open and you should be fine.  They even allow dogs in the restaurant (as I've come to learn most restaurants in France do) which obviously means I LOVE IT HERE!!!!!  
You get why I would move in a heartbeat?!!!

4 Rue Raoul Bosio
06300 Nice

So are you convinced now???
Will Nice make it on your next foodie hitlist?? 
No???

Then check out my Nice Travel Diary HERE then come back next week as I take you along the other charming towns of the fabulous French Riviera! 
Stay tuned luvahs!

Bon Appétit mes amis!
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1 comments

  1. Oh wow that place looks beautiful and the foodlooks super delicious. Wonderful pics.
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

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