Travel Through Plates

When a plate of food is put before me, I photograph it immediately. This blog, decodes my favorite dishes. It's a happy blog, as I predominantly show you pictures of the winners, the ones I love,

My Greatest Plates!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

St Cezaire sur Siagne Brasserie de La Fontaine

Here is a little gem jewel of a town, nestled behind and above Grasse and about 6 miles from Cabris. The Brasserie de la Fountain is now under new owners and they are nice! Settled in the 1400's three thousand lucky people now call it home. The reason to visit is to look out over the Point de Vue. The point of view or lookout to us Anglo's is located at Place du 8 Mai 1945. From here at a altitude of 1500 feet you can see for miles to new horizons. A single of Olive tree set in this perch this is the perfect setting for the infinity before you. The square it's up in the left most corner of the picture the river Siagne murmurs and cascades down in the valley.

I try to come here at least once a year, it is far from the mad rush of Cannes, Monaco and just about everywhere else. This day I was late, late and hungry having been refused a meal in four restaurants in Cabris, (GOOD FOR FOOD) so I had no choice but to search for a meal here.

I was not planning to blog The Brasserie de La Fontaine but it was open and for that I was grateful, my expectations were zero.  As it was so late they offered me the choice of one dish on the menu as they were setting up for a big party later on that evening. I said the Goat cheese salad would be perfect. It was stellar way beyond by expectations. Crisp filo case filled with sharp molten chevre and crisp smoked lardons,  wild leaves all tossed in a honeyed vinaigrette.

With our coffee I tried some apple tart.

The burnt bits were amazing, the apples tart ,celebrating homemade goodness. A simple meal to be sure but welcome nevertheless.
Brasserie La Fontaine
3, Place du Général de Gaulle
Tél : 04 93 60 84 86

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Best PASTA of the year and 15 euro lunch to boot!

Adagio in Monaco wakens a backstreet above where the train station used to be in Monaco. 

1 rue Bioves is home to this new lunch deal! 

Here is waiter Michele nice chap he is too. This light, white and airy space has a kitchen set to one side.

Poking out of the kitchen is head chef Sandra with second Svetlana. The menu changes daily. This was my lunch:

Macaroni with speck and Gorganzola and ricotta ravioli with tomato sauce, this  was remarkable, the smokey pork was savorised by the blue cheese. The ravioli were perfect with a scintilla of acidity that gave the dish oodles of tomato love.

Next wafer thin slices of rare pink roast beef, rosemary/thyme jus, green bean and sauteed potatoes. Are you seeing the slices! We are talking a thin deal here!!! You get your choice of a glass of wine or mineral water too. PS I had dessert as well but I ate it before snapping a picture, this is a worthy address to remember.

Went for dinner and it was less interesting. My guest had Italian steak tartare which managed to mess her stomach. So now you know!

tel. +37797981556

1 rue BIOVES Monaco

ps they have three parking spaces too

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mirazur Menton

Mirazur is a place filled with talent, and it is easy to understand why Michelin has starred the joint....but the problem is the food just because you can serve someone a vegetable in a dessert, and make it pretty should you?

The table is laid with modern settings, odd shaped cutlery and non-conventional crockery, it's as if the entire rule book of convention has been discarded not because it is outmoded but because the mantra is "different must be better than what has come before" which is often not the case. The place is remarkable value with the food at Eur 55 for the discovery menu (7 courses) however drinks are dramatically overpriced. I ordered a Virgin Mary, tomato juice with Worcestershire sauce, some celery salt and a shake of tabasco that set me back Eur 20.00 NB plain tomato juice is Eur 15.00 when you put that into perspective with the menu at 55 it is a ripoff.
This I likeed alot!! Freebie starter of fennel and other finely sliced greenies, topped with a fragrant infant wild strawberry which was far to young to have been picked from the patch.

2 out of three not bad, let's start with the one dimension onion tart, heavy over-caramelised onion clumped onto dough, greasy, cloying, it did not belong on the same platter with the wonderful cauliflower mousse with roquette pesto.

The thimble of chevre was on a granny smith sliver that was instantly forgettable!

A frothy soup, they said vegetable, (but which) was milky and topped with a Parmesan tuile which was indeed both crispy and parmesanny with a long cheesy aftertaste. No big deal!

One of the best things I ate was the courgette ribbons lassooing asparagus, served with vanilla and honey dressing, which was piqued by pink grapefruit zest and segments. It was delicious.

The bread was innovative, Almond and Cinnamon, Italian flat bread "music sheets" cereal bread, Olive Oil infused foccacia and crusty country rolls came next.

Good idea, mousseline light mashed potatoes with baby fava beans, sauteed Morel mushrooms topped with a garlic foam. Shrooms were dumbly over salted, the garlic foam tasted faintly of a metalic note. 5 out of 10.

The breast of pork was served on a citrus emulsion, but the chef chose to intertwine the decoration with a wasabi sauce which was the equivalent of a sumo wrestler doing a Viennese Waltz. (see the green puddles above) No you shall not go to the dance! The 12 hour Pork was cooked as a low and slow affair at 63C (I'm not making this up, that was what they told us) which was pan seared for crusty crackling. Alas it was not very crisp and rather than melt in the mouth fork tender morsels mine was stringy and too tough!

So capucine flower sorbet with sweetened pea coulis!! In a word....Jabberwocky! The head waiter was very excited for diners to guess the combo...but why???? Unbalanced!

Saffron custard, coconut mousse was slightly better, I kept waiting for the weird combo to hit me and the waiter to announce another strange pairings but this one came and went benign.

This was high strange! Strawberry on a verbena granita, all good so far, then I tried the sugar tuile and which was filled with a Corsican cream cheese known as Brousse, so called because its curd is beaten before being drained. It is ewe's milk cheese sold in plastic cones, it crashed the fruit party with a farmyardy aroma followed closely by a salty mule kick and a lingering dairy barn taste; a gastro train wreck! It triggered an unexpected gag reflex, this was just nasty. I guess turning down the cheese course meant the kitchen had to sneek some in elsewhere.

The last food slate was put before us ushering a final round of guessing, argentinian inspired Mate Macaroons where mated to orange flower marshmallows and Pistachio tuiles. The final humor was iced lollipops that were universally adored.

The restaurant is 50 meters before the Italian border and the parking lot is shared with the French customs inspectors!

Owner Chef Mauro Colagreco was absent on the day I reviewed.
30 Avenue Aristide Briand
06500 Menton, France

+334 92 41 86 86