A Taste of Nice

A Taste of Nice

A day in this most Italian of French cities always begins at the Cours Saleya market.


After coffee and croissant at one of the many cafe/bistros that flank the center aisles groaning with the produce that defines Nice: zucchini and their flowers, ripe tomatoes, baby eggplant, wild baby artichokes and of course giant bulbs of purple garlic, it is time to stop Chez Theresa for socca.


Chick pea flour that has been kneaded and rolled into a thin round and baked like pizza is a staple nosh and will get you through the morning before scouting for a lunch venue.

Although the market is open daily Monday is special for its famous antique and brocante market

After much meandeuing through the narrow streets and alleys of Vieux Nice we arrived at our destination: Lu Fran-Calin where Daniel was waiting to give us a demonstration on the making of pissaladiere.


He made a dough from wheat flour, salt, yeast and olive oil and then kneaded it and rolled it out before placing it in a rectangular baking pan lightly brushed with olive oil.Yellow onion compote was liberally spread over the dough and slivers of anchovies and niçoise olives completed the preparation.



Elvira led us to the terrace where we sipped rosé as we waited for the pissaldiere to finish baking. Squares of our pissaladiere were ifeatured  in the the tasting assortment that also included panisses, grilled red peppers, mushrooms and farcies (zucchini stuffed with chopped meat.) More rosé followed by pasta daube (a provecal beef stew ladled over fresh pasta.)


Our next stop was 11 rue du marché where in 1992 three friends, Sophie, Marcelle and Evelyne opened A Buteghinn'a a small restaurant creperie that squeezes into a small triangle in the middle of Vieux Nice. The house specialty is salade niçoise, threal thing, not that tuna packed, potato laden version that masquerades as the real thing on American and many Parisian menus.


 Here Sophie prepares 20-30 per day on demand. She harvests the contents from her backyard garden in Antibes.

The process begins with a knife sharp enough to perform delicate surgery on human beings. This is a seasonal menu item and only appears when local tomatoes are in season. They are sliced wafer thin and spread on a plate on which a garlic clove has been rubbed, next a long green pepper, a long radish and  a baby eggplant are sliced and added. The sliced heart of a baby artichoke, a sliced hard boiled egg, anchovie strips and a splash of local olive oil and the plate is ready. Our rosé was made in the Roman way by Georges Rasse of  Vignobles St Jeannet on the hillsides above Nice.

 We closed out a convivial day with cocktails on the terrace of the Palais de Méditérranée.


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