We’re headed to the south of France in June and want to eat where the locals eat. Any restaurant suggestions in Nice and Monte Carlo?
Frank, if I were headed to Nice and Monte Carlo and wanted to know where the locals eat, I’d ask my friend Christine Cantera, a.k.a. Miss Expatria, who is a local herself. She has written all about France and its food for Viator, BootsnAll Travel, Nomadic Foodie, et al. In fact, do yourself a favor and invite her to dinner with you! You’ll be sure to order the right thing, have a delightful dinner, and come away with plenty of travel tips for the area. Meanwhile, here are Christine’s recommendations:
La Merenda, 4 rue Raoul Bosio
“It’s a rustic bistro with a focus on locally sourced foods and a limited menu that changes with the chef’s whim. It draws a mix of older locals and foodies who’ve heard about it (and it’s probably not for anyone with dietary restrictions because I don’t know if they’d have the resources for substitutions). Seating is limited, and they have no phone, so you’ll need to hang around outside until noon, when you can ask to put your name in for a spot. Oh, and they’re not open on weekends. Oh, and they only take cash. Don’t worry: It’s worth the hassle.”
L’ Ane Rouge, 7 Quai des 2 Emmanuel
“The port side L’Ane Rouge has a pretty typical seafood menu for the French Riviera; you won’t find anything too inventive, but the classics are always solid. Reserve an outdoor table: The outdoor terrace is massive, is not as cramped or hot as the indoors, and has views of the port you’re sitting on.”
Keisuke Matsushima, 22 rue de France
“Two words: Michelin star. The dining room is Japanese-style minimalist, but the cuisine is innovative French. I haven’t actually eaten here myself, but everyone I know who has eaten here has raved about it.” [Note from Wendy to Frank: That’s where you should take Christine for dinner.]
In Monte Carlo:
Il Terrazzino, 2 rue des Iris
“It’s one of the only places in Monte Carlo that’s not over-hyped or over-priced. The Italian food is fresh and lovingly prepared. Reservations are a must.”
Bon appetit et bon voyage!