FROM LOS ANGELES TO ANTIBES, MEET VEGAN CHEF IVY DAI

Entretien avec la restauratrice Ivy Dai. Interview with chef Ivy Dai.

When not writing about food, you can find chef Ivy Dai serving up her delicious plant-based cuisine at Graze Artisan Café, the restaurant she recently launched in Antibes.

To help you get to know Ivy better as well as finding out more about her restaurant and vegan cuisine in general, we had the chance to ask her a few questions.

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Hello Ivy. First of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I understand that you are from Los Angeles but have been traveling a lot over the last few years?

Hello! Yes I am originally from Los Angeles, born and raised. Since I was a little girl I have always had a bit of wanderlust. I first left home and travelled abroad at age 22 to China. It was a huge culture shock, but definitely an adventure and I learned Mandarin in the process. I went back to the States and worked as a food journalist then a producer for ABC News in 2008 before leaving and finally following my dream: attending the Cordon Bleu Culinary School. I completed my externship in Paris at Lenôtre and Hédiard, then headed back to California where I worked at the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton hotels as a pastry chef.

France kept calling me back, and I finally landed an opportunity to help open a gluten free Pâtisserie in Paris in 2012. That was also a big move, and it was really tough adjusting. During my time there I also worked as a French pastry instructor and helped open NeoBento, an organic café in the trendsetting 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais). I also ran my own cooking classes, Dragon Dinners, which I launched in 2008 in California, teaching home cooks how to make authentic Chinese!

My yoga instructor in LA, Sabrina Kappler, worked in yachting and convinced me to come to Antibes and try my hand at yachting. It was tough breaking in at first, despite my experience. I cooked on several yachts for a variety of owners, and found my niche in plant-based and gluten-free fare with an international twist. My clients now seek me out solely for this type of cuisine, mostly in Europe but I recently just returned from Qatar and have worked in Asia.

Essentially, the cuisine you get in my restaurant is what I make for my international clients. I created Graze because I wanted to make tasty wholesome food available to the masses. I thought to myself – how can I take what I do for one person and do that same thing for many. That’s where the concept of Graze was born.

When did you first know that you wanted to become a chef? And a vegan one at that!

I first knew I wanted to be a chef in Mrs. Hilscher’s home economics class in 7th grade. I was 13. I learned to bake. I was always forcing my family to try new weird things. I had a natural skill for it.

At 19 I wanted to be a food writer, which I achieved at the age of 25, then I took the leap and went to culinary school and haven’t looked back since.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?

love feeding people. I love seeing the excitement in people’s faces and their whole being lights up when you cook something just how ‘mom used to make it’, or someone discovers a flavor so new and stupendous, it cracks open their world. Food is a journey of emotions, and a common language that connects people of all backgrounds.

You have recently launched your own restaurant, Graze Artisan Café, in Antibes, can you tell us a little about this new adventure? How would you describe the food you offer?

Opening Graze has been so gratifying, I didn’t except I would gain so much satisfaction and create a new community. The menu and style of service Graze offers has evolved according to the needs of our customers. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Look, I am not against meat. I am not telling anyone that butter is evil and don’t ever eat a hamburger again. In fact I love butter (a huge reason why I moved to France). Being a ‘vegan’ restaurant (I prefer to call it plant-based) becomes quite a political statement. People say but I like meat and I won’t stop eating it. But…do you need to have it at EVERY single meal? What about some curry? A delicious soup? Some dessert? Or a smoothie? There is really a lot of variety to eat!

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I am not against meat, I am for fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat and eggs and dairy products are excellent for health, especially bone broth, but in the modern age it takes a lot of time and money to eat high quality animal protein. And even then eating grass-fed is actually worse for the environment…one cow then eats so much more plants than a grain-fed cow.

I tell some of my customers who say why don’t you serve meat..I tell them if you go hunt and kill an animal and bring it to me, I will cook it. Or you can eat as much as cake, cookies, and pizzas as you want – just make it yourself. Hunting and baking are time-consuming, and foods that we rarely ate before the industrialization of food. Now you can have a burger anytime – but if you are only eating meat and wheat, there’s not much room for a vegetable. When you eliminate meat, you are forced to cook, then you naturally eat better.

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But I also know it is a challenge to eat well – there’s the shopping, the cooking, the menu planning, the clean up. Here at Graze, we strive to make wholesome food readily available for all of us who are getting busier and busier – and find ourselves eating crisps and an apple for dinner.

And why did you choose Antibes?

The French Riviera is on the exact same latitude line as California. It reminds me of home – the topography, near the beach and also the mountains, the weather, the relaxed attitude. I live in Antibes and chose to open Graze here because we need it. After years of living here, I found it tough to eat well on the go. As well as finding a variety of cuisines. And eating well means feeding your taste buds as well as your body. Enjoying a gastronomic experience is synonymous with being French – and how can a country who does not eat well, be well?

How do you dispel the belief that a vegan diet is bland?

Let’s name a few things that are tasty and just so happen to have no animal products:

– Chips/fries/french fries/pomme frites
– Onion bhajis
– A lot of Indian food
– A lot of Chinese food
– Guacamole
– Hummus
– Smoothies
– Chocolate
– Granola bars

So anyways we serve all this stuff here! Even scrumptious tacos and burgers, vegan pizza, Thai food, you name it. I would say we are more about offering a variety of international cuisine (as America is a large melting pot) than putting lettuce and pasta on a plate and saying bon appetit.

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Does being vegan help in maintaining a healthy weight?

As I mentioned earlier, when you add more fruits and vegetables in your diet, you automatically cut out a lot of processed food, which is what makes you tired, pack on the pounds, and grab for more sugary drinks, candy bars and fast food. At Graze all our smoothies are only made with 100 percent fresh fruit, desserts are made with unrefined cane sugar, and our dishes are perfect for anyone trying to lose weight or get lean. For example, our Thai Burger has 5 fruits and veggies, chickpeas for protein, and spicy curry paste to burn fat, 200 calories and ZERO fat. And it’s pretty damn tasty too…it’s topped with our coriander ‘aioli’ (made with organic soymilk).

I first tried to become vegan about 10 years ago, and it has been a long and bumpy journey to move to a plant-based diet. I remember the first day I didn’t eat meat or dairy I was crawling to In-N- Out Burger by the end of the day (a popular burger chain in California).

After I experienced severe adrenal fatigue and exhaustion in 2013, my digestion and overall health was shot – and I only craved fruits and vegetables. So that is all I ate for 6 months. I also did a juice fast for 3 days that really opened my eyes in terms of my attitude with food – that I ate to curb anxiety or when I was thirsty – not when I was actually hungry.

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good for you. So think about ADDING some color into your diet versus focusing on ELIMINATING meat and dairy. We need those vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy and skinny!

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What tip would you give to someone interesting in becoming a vegan?

If you are moving towards a plant based diet, I suggest eating things you like that already have a lot of flavor – like chili, but instead of ground meat, add 3 beans (for 9 complete amino acids). Or try Indian food, or maybe a sweet and sour basil eggplant stirfry. The trick is to keep your taste buds and body satisfied – hot as well as oily food will help keep you grounded as you move to a plant-based diet.

Do you have a culinary specialty?

To the first 25 people who like us on Facebook, I will send a FREE recipe booklet of my favorite recipes from the upcoming Graze cookbook. After liking us, just email usand we will send you your free copy!

My culinary specialties? Pastry (appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcakes Wars”), Chinese, and vegan and gluten-free of course !

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And finally, what do you like so much about the French Riviera? Are there any special places you would recommend?

For a list of all my favorite places in Antibes, you can check my site.

New Antibes additions: Mamalu, an amazing family style Italian restaurant by the covered market, The 44, a gastronomic meal in an intimate setting.

Favorite places in the Riviera: Mandelieu-la Napoule, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Chèvre d’Or in Eze, La Réserve (beach) in Nice, and on my yoga mat at Samasthiti Yoga or Azure Yoga in Antibes!

Many thanks to Ivy a for taking the time to answer our question, and we wish her the very best of luck with her new adventure. To find out more about Ivy’s work, you can visit her website and, of course, check out Graze Artisan Café when you happen to be in Antibes.

CONTACT DETAILS
Graze Artisan Café
20, rue des Casemates
06600 ANTIBES

Tel: +33 (0)4 89 82 51 73

All photos courtesy Ivy Dai / Graze Café

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AUX DEUX CHEFS – TWO CHEFS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

Le secret le mieux gardé de Nice? Nice’s best kept secret?

One chef by the oven in the kitchen, the other in the dining room looking after the customers. That’s the recipe for success adopted by Aux Deux Chefs.

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A lovely neighbourhood restaurant, Aux Deux Chefs is located on rue Dabray, a stone’s throw from the Gare du Sud. But describing the place as just a spot for the locals would definitely be doing it a misjustice.

Making their own the saying of famous chef Paul Bocuse: “There is no good food if initially it is not done out of friendship for the person to whom it is intended”, the two young cooks at the helm of the restaurant, Jean-François and Vivian, both graduates from the Nice and Menton culinary schools, offer a gastronomic menu full of surprises, each more delightful than the last, in an atmosphere reminiscent of that of Lyon’s Bouchons.

The accent is put on seasonal and fresh products and if the dishes are all pretty traditional, they each come with a twist to excite even the more demanding palate.

Take, for instance, the Hamburger Nissart, made of beef, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and pesto. Meanwhile, the fillet of duck breast is caramelized with honey and lavender, the cod loin is served with a rouille, a Provençal mayonnaise made of olive oil, and the sea bass is cooked with Parmesan cheese and pesto.

The prices are very reasonable, especially considering the quality of the cuisine. A “menu plaisir” that consists of an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert costs just €25, while the dishes “à la carte” range from €13 to €22.

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The two chefs want you to have an unforgettable experience so they are always happy to answer your questions and adapt, if necessary, the dishes to suit your needs or desires.

With the Libération district getting trendier by the minute, don’t wait any longer to try this gem…we have a feeling that this will soon be the Place To Be!

CONTACT DETAILS
Restaurant Aux Deux Chefs
56, rue Dabray
06000 NICE      

Tel: +33 4 93 52 56 50

Open Monday to Saturday from 11:30am to 2pm and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm to 10pm.

 

All images courtesy Aux Deux Chefs

RAMPOLDI RESTAURANT IN MONACO RESTORED TO FORMER GLORY

Une bonne adresse à Monaco! A good address in Monaco!

It is nothing short of a Monegasque institution, and after a four year refurb, the Rampoldi Restaurant has reopened to the delight of its many fans.

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The Rampoldi Restaurant is THE place to be for the local in-crowd, as well as for the jet-setters and celebrities from the world over who are in town.

Established in 1946 and located right in the historic Carré d’Or of Monte-Carlo, Rampoldi offers a brasserie-style menu of delicious Italian dishes with subtle French influences in an exquisite setting. Some of the most popular choices include the crayfish-stuffed ravioli and tortellini with cream and white truffle sauce, but the restaurant is also famous for its unbelievable caviar and its original cocktails that can be enjoyed at the bar. Prices many be high but the portions are generous and all the ingredients are fresh and come from local producers.

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Rampoldi has a streetside terrace facing the casino gardens, which allow its clientele to live the authentic Monegasque experience. When temperatures drop outside, the main dining room with its ornate ceilings, wood panelling and mirrors, has an undeniable charm that remains intact despite the extensive renovations that have been carried out to modernise the restaurant.

Thanks to the eatery’s 70 years of experience and its focus on quality, patrons can expect to benefit from the highest level of service and attention from the personnel, and because we are in Monaco, the restaurant also offers special privileges to its members. This “special treatment” includes dedicated tables available all year-round and a prestigious lounge that can be privatised for special events. The members have also access to an exclusive cigar room, where they can smoke and relax, away from the crowd.

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Combining a prime location and an unique ambiance with delicious Mediteranean cuisine and a modern touch, Rampoldi definitely remains a deservedly sought-after destination.

CONTACT DETAILS
Rampoldi
3, avenue des Spélugues
Monte-Carlo
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 93 30 70 65

 

All images courtesy Rampoldi Facebook page

L’AROMATE TURNS COOKING INTO AN ART FORM

L’Aromate à Nice ou quand la cuisine devient un art. L’Aromate in Nice or when cooking between an art.

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L’Aromate is one of Nice’s few Michelin starred restaurants, so when it offers up cutting-edge, yet delicious cuisine, you just have to try it.

Located in a former peanut-roasting plant located on avenue Maréchal Foch, right in the heart of the city, l’Aromate is a welcoming place with two dining rooms decorated with black ceilings and wood floors that definitely provide for a very intimate atmosphere.

The owner and chef, Mickaël Gracieux, a native of Saint-Amand-Montrond in the Cher who moved with his girlfriend Elise to Nice in 2008, has trained with some of the most prestigious French culinary masters, such as Joël Robuchon in Paris, Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV in Monaco, and Arnaud Donckele at La Pinède in Saint Tropez.

Eager to democratize haute cuisine and give free rein to his creativity, Gracieux is offering dishes that are both innovative and tasty, using only the best of fresh produce. His lunch and dinner menus change regularly according to the season, as well as the chef’s imagination, and feature both traditional dishes (for instance, Charolais beef with a light crust of salt, pepper and hazelnuts served with potato purée) and original creations such as the crab in shellfish gelée with a curry-fennel cream for starter or the orange and lemon tart for desert.

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Gracieux’s main goal is to make the experience as unique and delightful as possible for the customers, but at the same time keeping it convivial and affordable, and already his efforts have paid off. In June 2008, he became the first winner of the ‘Rising Star Champagne Jacquart Trophy’ in Gastronomy for the French Riviera, and just two years later, earned his first Michelin star. What a great achievement for this young and talented chef who has managed to build on his unique culinary experience to carve out an identity of his own!

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L’Aromate is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 7:30pm till 10:30pm.

CONTACT DETAILS
Restaurant L’Aromate
20, avenue Maréchal Foch
06000 Nice

Telephone : +33 4 93 62 98 24

LE BLAST – A PIECE OF AMERICA IN THE HEART OF VIEUX NICE

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2014 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2014)

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The late Sunday morning brunch has become über-cool but let’s face it, no matter how hard one tries, nobody does it like the Americans!

That is something Lionel and Philippe have understood perfectly. After many years spent in Los Angeles, where one had opened a French bakery and the other a café, these two Niçois decided, upon their return to France, to team up to create a real American bar/restaurant right in the heart of the city. And this is how Blast was born in 2009 on the very busy Cours Saleya!

Open every day of the week, from 8am to 2am, Blast is a restaurant by day, which offers all those specialties you can expect from an American diner, including macaroni & cheesechilli con carneBBQ pork ribs and of course,burgers.

At night, it is a lounge where one can sip a piña colada, a mojito or one of the homemade cocktails while enjoying some nice music and all the hustle and bustle of Vieux Nice well into the night.

And come the morning, Blast transforms into the perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy a classic American-style brunch that will satisfy all your cravings. On the menu, several different egg dishes (omelette, scrambled, sunny side-up….), bagels, French toast, pancakes…and for an “exotic touch”, an English breakfast consisting of bacon, sausage, baked beans, fried eggs and toast.

And as Americans really know a thing or two about making people feel welcome, the outside terrace can easily accommodate large groups and is perfect on a sunny day, while the interior is very cosy and boasts a pool table that can be used for free after 8 pm.

CONTACT DETAILS
Le Blast
8, Place Charles Félix
06300 Nice

Tel: 04 93 80 00 50

Image courtesy Le Blast

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/602-blast-bar-nice.html

WAZO BRUNCH IN NICE – OUR NEWEST BRUNCH HOTSPOT

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

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Wazo Brunch in Nice, a convivial and trendy spot to relax and enjoy great food at very reasonable prices with your nearest and dearest.

The concept of brunch is becoming increasingly popular and in Nice, new places offering this mix of breakfast and lunch on their menus are popping up like wildfire all over the city. But if for some brunch remains mostly a Sunday affair, at Wazo Brunch, it is available all weekend long and throughout the day.

Opened just over a year ago, this charming little restaurant, located on rue Delfy near the MAMAC, is slowly but surely becoming quite the place to go for the weekend late riser, or for those who just want to eat well at veryaffordable prices.

The concept here is simple – you choose between two to five ingredients for your brunch and pay accordingly, with prices ranging from €8 to €20.

The sweet tooth among you will probably opt for either the pancakes served with maple syrup, the French toasts, the fresh pastries and cookies, or, maybe even a home-made yogurt. The savoury food lover also has plenty to choose from – salmon on toastpotatoesbaconbeanssausagescheese plates…the list is impressive and the items delicious!

Of course, no brunch is complete without eggs – whether you like them sunny side upboiled or scrambled, you will be guaranteed to be find your happiness. And let’s not forget the hot drinks – coffeehot chocolate and a large variety of teas – as well as the freshly squeezed juices to put the final touch to your meal.

If brunch is not your thing, no need to worry, a menu that includes some interesting dishes like Japanese salad,truffle pesto lasagnaquinoa Shepherd’s Pie or finely sliced chicken breast served with maple syrup is also available.

Wazo Brunch definitively knows how to make its customers feel at home. The staff is friendly and the ambience is cosy, with nicely decorated walls – at the moment you can admire a selection of works by Italian artistGuido Duty Gorn.

Open from Tuesday to Friday from 3 pm to 10:30 pm, on Saturday from 11 am to 10:30 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm.

CONTACT DETAILS
Wazo Brunch
14 bis, rue Défly
06000 Nice

Tel: 06 64 47 68 69

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/485-wazo-brunch.html

FIVE OF THE BEST: ICE CREAM PARLOURS IN NICE

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

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The summer heat is definitely a great excuse to indulge yourself in one of the numerous ice cream parlours scattered throughout Nice.

With temperatures soaring, people are always looking for ways to stay cool. Our personal recommendation here at Riviera Buzz? Ice cream! To help you make a choice between all the options on offer, we have tried as many of them as possible – all is the name of research of course! – and here is our verdict:

Step out of your comfort zone at Fenocchio

This ice-cream parlour needs no introduction. Opened in 1966 on Place Rossetti by the Fennocchio family in the old town, it has become something of an institution for locals and a must-stop for tourists with nearly 100 varieties of ice creams and sorbets.

Their specialties? Some unusual flavours that pay tribute to the south of France: Rosemary, thyme, lavender, tomato-basil, black olive, Calisson, lavender, Tourte de Blette… but also some insane creations such as beer, salted butter caramel, chewing-gum or even cactus!

Of course, if you are not ready just yet to unleash your inner adventurer, Fenocchio also offers less bold choices.Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, pistachio…they have it all!

A world of flavours at Arlequin Gelati

According to Trip Advisor, this ice cream parlour is simply the best one in Nice. Not a small accomplishment forRoberto, the proud owner of the shop who has brought with him to Nice the scents of his native Italy and the tastes of his travels around the world.

Always using fresh seasonal fruits from the nearby market, he creates pure and original ice creams and sorbets that contain no conservatives or artificial colourings. The customer can try the different flavours before ordering, so there is no risk at being tempted by some of the gelateria’s original offerings such as Persepolis (saffron) or Tropical Eden (almond and coconut),

Definitely a great address for the entire family and especially for the kids who, once a year, can get a free scoop of ice cream if they bring a drawing or a poem.

Tradition First at Crema di Gelato

If you love traditional ice creams made with top quality ingredients and seasonal fruits in the purest Italian style, look no further than Crema di Gelato, right next to the Palais de Justice in the old town. Opened in 2004 byLorenzo and Monica Santini, with the help of some Italian investors, this little boutique offers all the classic flavours you can think of, from chocolate and vanilla to melon and strawberry.

However, preserving tradition does not necessarily preclude new ideas, and Crema di Gelato also creates its own little delicacies such as the mignons glacés which are compositions based on sorbet or ice cream, the pralineswhich are small balls of ice cream wrapped in crunchy chocolate, and the cone cakes, which are a nice mix of ice cream and pastries.

Ice cream and nothing else at Gelateria Azzurro

Here you will not find any crepes, waffles, or granitas…the Veyrat family who opened the place in 1996 only makes ice creams, but it does it very well and that’s all that matters in the end. Just a few meters away from Fenocchio, this small kiosk-booth-take-away is slowly getting the recognition it deserves.

They may not have the same variety as their famous neighbour, but they still have a fair amount to choose from, ranging from all-time favorites such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, to more original ones such as rose, lavenderand bounty bar. They even have a blue ice cream called “Schtroumpf” if you really want to be adventurous.

And the icing on the cake – the ice cream cones are also homemade, sometimes right in front your eyes if you are lucky.

Gelateria Via Mazzini, the New Kid in Town

The Italians definitely know a thing or two about making delicious ice creams and the recently opened Gelateria Via Mazzini is no exception. The owners are from Turin and use only the freshest ingredients to make on-site delectable delights for all palates.

If traditionalists will probably opt for flavours such as hazelnut, dark chocolate – the fondente, a super-creamy dark chocolate, is just to die for! – and pistachio, or choose one of the fruit gelati which literally burst with flavour, the innovators may want to try the magnum style ice creams, the ice cream sandwiches or one of the cakes.

Not (yet !) crammed with tourists, this true artisanal gelateria is bound to become one of Nice’s favorite ice cream spots in the very near future – you heard it here first!

Lead image credit: timbrk on 123RF.com

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/372-ice-cream-parlours.html

 

INDULGE YOURSELF AT PASTRY PLAISIRS

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

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If afternoon tea is one of your guilty pleasures, a new little address right in the heart of Nice should help you indulge all your cravings.

Yes, why not bring out the ‘British’ in you? Our latest great little find, Pastry Plaisirs, proposes a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, tarts, little pastries and home baked scones served with strawberry jam. And if a mascarpone-based cream has replaced the clotted cream, it does not take anything away from the experience, but just adds a little French twist to this so British tradition.

The afternoon high tea, which must be reserved in advance, is a meal in and of itself. For those of you with a smaller appetite, you might want to opt for a hot drink – all the teas are imported from England – accompanied by some of the sweets on offer.

The owner, Louis Dubois, is a pastry chef and it shows in all the delectable dishes and delicacies he creates. Trained by some of the best-known names in the industry, he worked for two years at the Ritz in Paris with Michel Roth, then for a year at Fauchon, also in Paris, and finally for almost two years in London at Sketch, with Pierre Cagnaire, before deciding to open his own restaurant with his partner, Aurore Parrant.

Pastry Plaisirs is much more than just a tea house. Every day (excluding Wednesdays and Sundays), and two nights a week, on Friday and Saturday, you can treat yourself to a five-star meal, prepared with fresh seasonal products for a very reasonable price, in a very friendly atmosphere. The two owners welcome you with a smile and make sure you are having a good time.

Only open since last Summer, Pastry Plaisirs is no longer one of Nice’s best kept secrets, and it is slowly but surely becoming an absolute must.

CONTACT DETAILS
Pastry Plaisirs
11, rue Delille
06000 Nice

Tel: 04 93 87 92 32 

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/238-pastry-plaisirs.html

THE VINGT4 – A WINE BAR WITH A FEMININE TOUCH

Cet article a été publié dans Riviera Buzz en 2013 (this article was published in Riviera Buzz in 2013)

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Who said that wine was a man’s world? At the Vingt4, a new wine bar and bistro in Nice, the feminine touch can be felt in every detail.

The owner, Michèle Degaudens, is the aunt of Jacques Rolancy, honoured “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 1996 and the chef of the nearby restaurant, Les Viviers. Together, they have decided to create a convivial restaurant that offers a cuisine based on fresh seasonal products from the market. The restaurant definitely has the feminine touch though, from the decoration, a luminous setting with touches of lilac and white, through to the wine list, which has been selected by a panel of women.

There are no freezers or microwaves to be found in the kitchens here, all dishes are homemade and the menu changes regularly. For the sweet tooth amongst you, there are superb desserts, signed by Pascal Lac, the city’s most famous chocolate maker, and at lunchtime, the coffee is free for all the female customers.

Meanwhile; the wines, some of which have been produced by women, are presented by colour and flavor and areaccompanied by tasting notes. And if you need suggestions for food pairings, the waiters will gladly help you. It is not so often that the service is friendly and attentive in the region, so it is worth mentioning that the waiters areextremely courteous and knowledgeable. They want you to enjoy the experience and will carefully listen to your specific requests.

But, the Vingt4 is not just a wine bar, it is also an all-day restaurant that takes care of your eating needs from 7:30am to late in the evening. Nice pastries for breakfast, salads, gourmet dishes, tapas…the menu may be short and simple,  but it does offer a vast variety of choices! A catering service is also available for those who do not have time to cook and are in need of a salad or an aperitif basket.

The Vingt4 is opened from Monday to Saturday from 7:30am to 10pm (closed on Monday evening).

CONTACT DETAILS
Bar à vins – Restaurant le Vingt4
24, rue Alphonse Karr
06000 Nice

Tél. 04 93 88 45 49 

Photograph © Mike Colquhoun

http://www.riviera-buzz.com/features/food-drink/item/176-vingt4.html

Café Marché in Nice – the perfect spot for Sunday brunch

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2011 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2011)

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Brunch is all about waking up late on weekends and lingering for hours in a relaxed atmosphere over dishes that can at the same time satisfy food cravings and heal hangovers from the previous night. This not-quite-breakfast, not-quite-lunch concept is catching on fast in France, especially among the thirtysomething crowd, but if Nice has not climbed on the bandwagon just yet, the city now counts among its newest restaurants a place that truly does brunch the right way…the Café Marché.

Tucked away in the backstreets of Old Nice, just a few blocks away from the bustling Cours Saleya, this little, nicely decorated restaurant offers every Sunday, from 9am to 5pm, a nice balance between savoury and sweet, with a choice of breakfast as well as lunch items, always made with the best quality ingredients.

For instance, for just 9,90 Euros you can have the sweet brunch which includes a hot drink – Café Marché has a very good selection of teas – a freshly squeezed juice, some slices of bread and jam or honey, some pancakes, brioches or gingerbreads and a plate of eggs.

For the same price, you can also have a savoury brunch which includes a hot drink, a fresh squeezed juice, a club sandwich, a salad or a soup and a plate of eggs. And for just 5 Euros more, you can have a combination of the two!

The friendly staff makes you feel at home and relaxed enough to enjoy a nice conversation with your friends or finish another section of the Sunday paper while nibbling on your food. A real paradise for brunch lovers! Be sure however to make a reservation beforehand as the place gets crowded very fast. Reservations may be made by either emailing Café Marché or by phoning 09.81.84.92.49

Photograph courtesy Café Marché