Anniversary dinner - Cote D'Azur

Old May 25th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Anniversary dinner - Cote D'Azur

Hi all, my wife and I will be spending our 25th anniv in France and will be in Villefranche-sur-mer (Hotel Welcome) for the actual anniv day. I would appreciate your suggestions on a place to have a special anniv dinner in Villefrance or nearby. The famous restaurant up in Eze looks like a contender...but I'm sure you will come up with others. By the way, your posts on many subjects have been very helpful in planning our trip - an amazing spread of info.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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Go into Nice and dine at Chantecler restaurant in the historic Hotel Negresco. You'll never forget the experience--and least, we never have.

I don't know of any restaurant in Villefranche-sur-mer that would fit the bill for a really special occasion.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:46 PM
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I have never even been to the Côte d'Azur, so obviously I can't speak with any authority! However, I'm going there very soon, and, as a foodie who who has spent a lot of time on the foodie boards researching my trip, I can at least transcribe what would seem to be the conventional wisdom, regarding very-special-occasion restaurants near Villefranche-sur-mer. I do this partly to give you some ideas to start your search, and also because I'd be interested to know if others can report on these places from first-hand experience.

(1) La Réserve de Beaulieu, in the hotel of the same name in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. A fancy two-star, which, according to what seem to be some of the better informed opinions, offers the finest gastronomic food in the area. The dining room looks quite nice, and you can check it out for yourself at www.reservebeaulieu.com.

(2) Château de la Chèvre d'Or, in Eze, which I think is the place that you mentioned. It's also a two-star, although the chef who was presiding when it gained its stars has been gone for a few years. The food may have suffered somewhat, and I haven't noted any hardcore foodies really raving about it. But it does seem popular among visitors to the area, and less obsessive diners seem to like the food. And everyone agrees that the views from the dining room are incredible. Check out www.chevredor.com.

(3) Louis XV, in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. A lavish, extremely ornately decorated three-star, one of the most famous restaurants in the world. I think most agree that the food is better here than at super-celebrity-chef Alain Ducasse's other restaurants in Paris and New York (having been to the New York one a number of times, I can say that this isn't saying much). I have seen mixed reviews of Louis XV, with people ranking it everywhere from their favorite restaurant in the world to disappointing and below La Réserve de Beaulieu. You can look at a virtual tour of the dining room at www.alain-ducasse.com (follow the links to the appropriate restaurant). No views, it seems, but a dining room that looks like it's part of Versailles.

These would be the conventional foodie choices for fancy, expensive, seriously gastronomic places. You may, of course, have something else in mind, maybe a pleasant little place by the ocean, or a bistro in an old country house in the hills.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:13 PM
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Thank you both for your suggestions. Life is pretty sweet when your biggest problem is where to have dinner on the French Riviera! The Chateau in EZE sounds like the perfect place...but then again, there are so many good places. Can't wait to go...
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:44 PM
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I would highly recommend LA CHAUMIERE, 384 boulevard de l'Observatoire, about 6 miles East of Nice. It's a Provencal-style restaurant with old wood beams, tiled floors, and no written menu. When you arrive, you're asked what kind of wine you want with dinner ( the house red or white) and then whether you prefer lamb or beef, both of which are grilled to perfection in the main dining room's fireplace.

After you decide on lamb or beef, a huge wicker basket full of vegetables and tapenades arrives on your table. Also a plateful of black nicois olives.

Dinner is accompanied by potatoes which have been grilled in the fire, and a house salad that seems fresh-picked.

A cheese tray follows, and then tarts or cakes, all accompanied, if you want it with a dollop of the owners' special Normandy cream.

This is an amazing dinner, but EXPENSIVE, so beware. The taxis back and forth to Nice were $50 each way, and the meal itself for the four of us was about $400.

If you're interested, try to call ahead, as it's an incredibly popular place with everyone from regular casual customers to people just off their yacht. When we were last there, Roger Moore was entertaining a large group of people in the back room.

The phone number in France is: 93 01 77 68. I think you'd be able to find a fax number by looking for the restaurant on the web, and if you want to reserve, I'd recommend doing that as far in advance as possible.

Congratulations, and have fun!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Weadles, thanks for the additional suggestion. La Chaumeiere sounds like a real memorable dining experience. I'll add it to the "short" list.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 10:10 AM
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I can't imagine how I forgot about La Table de Mon Moulin, in the village of Le Rouret (just a bit east of Grasse).

The chef there is Jean-Pierre Silva, who used to have a 2* restaurant/hotel in Burgundy. A few years ago he decided--as appears to be the current trend for chefs--that he wanted out of the pressure and so sold the operation and moved to Provence. His new place is in an old mill in a beautiful setting. Lunch and dinner are by reservation only, and the menu is whatever JP feels like preparing that day. There are only places for 15-20 people; so he does all the cooking himself, and he and his wife, Isabelle, wait on the tables.

Seating outside is in a small patio set along the mill stream; inside it's in a pretty room in front of the open kitchen. Both are fine.

The food is wonderful. The set menu runs about 45€, and Silva has a major collection of wines from Burgundy that he brought with him from Bouilland.

Another possibility is the 2* Bastide St-Antoine, about which I've heard good things from friends who live in the area.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 08:34 PM
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To all above, thank you for your suggestions. Wanted to let you know that I decided on La Chevre d'Or. I realize it may not be the best or most romantic of your suggestions, but the choices were overwhelming (and I'm a sucker for a view!)
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Medhead

Louis XV, in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco: I ate here in May of this year, I was over at the Grand Prix, and I can definitely recommend it. The food is very, very good. We got the taster menu, and it was superb. Service is out of this world, extremely attentive, but not 'hanging over your shoulder'! The decor of the room is so rich and sumptous looking.

If you have the chance to try this restaurant, you really should. Drinks in the hotel bar beforehand are a must also.

I have eaten at Château de la Chèvre d'Or,but it was 2 or 3 years ago. Brilliant also, and the view is just spectacular. But I did find Louis to be a better over all dining experience.

Angela
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:06 AM
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Also, the Grill Room at the top of the Hotel de Paris is one of my favourites in that area. We ate here in May also. Food, service both excellent, and the view is amazing. They have a wrap around balcony.

Obviously not in the same league as Louis, but definitely worth a try, and much more affordable than Louis also.

Angela
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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My vote would be for Le Melisande at the Hotel Palais Maeterlinck: http://www.palais-maeterlinck.com/uk/index.htm

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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:03 AM
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WMKilber,
Excellent choice in the Chevre d'Or. We enjoyed a very special dinner there in 2003. I would recommend going early and enjoying a Champagne cocktail on the gorgeous pool-side terrace before dinner. The views of the Med are truly spectacular. The gardens are also lovely and perfect for a stroll before or after dinner.
Congratulations!
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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Thank you for the additional posts...glad to hear you recommend the Chevre d'or! We do plan to be sitting on the terrace in 2 weeks sipping champagne, enjoying the view, and anticipating a great meal.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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Just got back from Villefranche and just had to report on our dinner at the Chevre d'Or in Eze. For an anniversary dinner, it was the perfect location. As expected, the food and service was amazing. I highly recommend it for a special dinner. Thanks to all of you for your help.
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