What you don't see in the bowl of olives are the bits of marinated fennel stocks—because I dug out each and every one and ate them first. Their anise salt flavor was a revelation with chilled rose. 

    I was on the Croisette in Cannes, the setting sun turning the color of my wine from pink to apricot. 

    Looking back, it was an amazing day for dining, both in and out.

    I began my morning with a fresh cereal baguette slathered with goat cheese and layered with honey and figs. I sat on my patio, flipped through Elle a Table, had coffee, and lingered. (this is an ode to having rented an apartment in Cannes rather than a hotel room, because I can cook and make what strikes me at the moment)


     Then I went shopping in Nice in the morning. I took pictures rather than buy anything because I had planned to have lunch in my village of Bar sur Loup a bit later.

    Photogenic sardines………….


    ….rose salt….I started looking for a coffee grinder after I bought a bag of this, eager to try the taste…


    ……….Nicoise petits farci……….mini stuffed vegetables…….


    …….Florian's famous fruits confits………candied oranges dipped in dark chocolate…


    I wound my way back through Old Town, back to the parking garage, back onto the highway that climbs the hills towards my village, where I lived for many years. 


    I was booked for lunch at the Michelin one star restaurant, Le Bigaradier.


    The restaurant is snug within the stone walls of the chateau, yet has expansive views over the hills and valley below and towards the Mediterranean. 

    An amuse bouche arrived……….. a row of little glasses…one with olive confit, one with marinated red peppers….one with tapenade….one with eggplant mousse….

    Then a simple glass was placed before me. Mystified, I dipped my spoon into its layers and discovered the flavor of mousse de foi gras at the bottom, a layer of liquid caramel, and on top of that a layer of crushed hazelnuts, and on top of that a foam of almond milk. The effect of the arrangement and the textures and temperature were as if I had settled in one of the billowy clouds that were just forming above the hills outside the window.


    Amazed, I was now avidly reading the menu trying to decide between the Petits Marmite, the pintade (chicken) or the fish. 

    I chose the Petits Marmite, which was unlike any I had before. Very light. With generous portions of lobster, salmon, fish caught off the coast of Nice….and a sauce which I guessed was a blend of lobster and shrimp……


……….served with a rouille, baguette and grated cheese….. 


    I also was served a warm salad of fresh cocos (white beans) in olive oil, vinegar, tomato and basil whisked into a light vinaigrette.

    For dessert……………this playful clafouti with deep berry ice cream and twirls of meringue.


    The young chef, Nicolas Rondelli, is Nicoise and lives in the next village. His pastry chef, Stephane Corolleur lives nearby as well. They are creating dishes that are fresh, light, healthy and above all are using ingredients from the terroir. 

    I was already imagining my next meal there in a couple of weeks when my friends arrive. 

    In the meantime, I came down off the hill, off the highs of my meal and my time in the village again, and drove back down to the coast. From the smell of lavender to the breeze off the sea, the air and mood changed. Cannes was charged with energy, while my village was as if I had visited a spa scented with soothing fragrances.

Homeaway-79_600Thank you for yet another wonderful rental apartment in France! I am looking forward to the next one I am renting for the next two weeks up in the hills above Cannes! I can't wait! Another view, another kitchen!

I also wish to thank for the zippy little Fiat Panda I rented from them. What a fun car to drive around the Cote d'Azur and up the steep mountain roads! 


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