Nice by Marlene Lee

Nice is not just the transportation hub for Côte d’Azur, it has the beach and the alps, all at its door step. It is little wonder that the British upper classes flocked to the city since the second half of the 18th century, so much so that the long stretch of walkway along the beach is called Promenade des Anglais (Walkway of the English). The fact that Nice has changed hands many times, first to Savoy followed by France, Piedmont-Sardinia and then back to France again may explain why their cuisine bears some similarity to its neighbouring country, Italy.

Lu Fran Calin

With Chef Daniel at its helm, family friendly restaurant Lu Fran Calin has consistently been awarded Cuisine Nissarde for many years running. Born and bred Niçois going back more generations than he can remember, Daniel is passionate about keeping the authenticity of the local cuisine. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to have him show me how La Pissaladière is made from scratch in his kitchen.

Interestingly, Niçoise cuisine is essentially peasant food relying predominantly on vegetables as fish, other than anchovies was difficult to catch due to the rough current and deep seabed along the coast. A fact that I hadn’t known as I assumed that those who live near the sea would consume more fish.

Address: 5 Rue Francis Gallo, 06300, Nice
Opening hours: 12:00 – 14:00; 19:30 – 22:30. Closed on Mondays and Sundays.

A Buteghinna

A Buteghinna is a small restaurant tucked away in a corner of Nice old town where guests are treated like family. It was started by 3 close friends, Sophie (the chef), Marcelle and Evelyne 27 years ago. They wanted a restaurant that serves Niçoise cooking just the way their grandmothers used to prepare their favourite dishes.

It certainly bears the sentiments of home cooking where the best meals can often be found. That was exactly my first impression when I took a sip of their soupe au pistou, a hearty vegetable soup topped with a dollop of basil pesto. Don’t forget to try their caponata (eggplant salad) and panisse (chickpea fries) which were absolutely delicious.

Address: 11 Rue du Marché, 06300 Nice
Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00. Closed on Sundays

Cesar Milano

Cesar Milano, the home of the best gelato in Nice, perhaps in all of France. Hailed from Milan, Roberto Francià studied the art of making gelato in Milan before working at Morelli for many years and subsequently setting up a gelateria and factory in Nice. His gelateria is an open secret amongst the locals in Nice. Roberto eschewed artificial flavours by using only fresh fruits and reducing the amount of sugar used.

Roberto suggested that I had a go at making peach sorbet at his factory just down the road from his gelateria. It was certainly an eye-opening experience, for me at least as it was my first ever attempt at making ice cream of any kind.

Address: 43 Avenue Jean Médecin, 06000 Nice.
Opening hours: 11:00 – 00:00. Closed on Tuesdays.