The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
A Night in Nice

The first day of a trip is never much fun. You fly all night, endure a 7-hour layover at the CDG airport in Paris (without club access this time), then take another flight to Nice, getting there around 5:00. Renting a car seemed roughly equivalent in time to a real estate closing but we did find our hotel in the dark (gotta love GPS!), got a bite to eat and crashed around 8pm. At least we'll be in one place starting tonight.

Margene was too tired to move, so I brought her a bag of chips and piece of quiche from the grab-and-go in the lobby (there's a microwave in the room) and she was happy. I wanted a bit more than that but didn't have the energy to search it out. Fortunately there was a small restaurant in the common courtyard between this hotel and the one next door.

After being in transit for the better part of 24 hours, I was totally dehydrated, so my first order of business was to dive into a very large, very cold beer! Traveling brings no lack of carbohydrate-loaded snacks, so a solid dose of greens seemed like the smart move. The salad included roasted goat cheese, chicken breast, bacon, apple, and tomato wedges.

They roasted the goat cheese in a pizza oven on a baguette half. It was a decent way to add a hot item on top of a cold salad. While the presentation was good, it was logistically unworkable since I couldn't cut up the baguette and mix it into the rest of the salad. I ended up scraping the cheese into the greens and keeping the baguette on the side. The chef had also julienned the bacon before cooking it which made for a nice texture differential. I would have liked to see the apples cut the same way. I rather liked the idea of the oil and vinegar in spray bottles. It makes sense but I'd never personally run into it before.

The only real downside for the place was the lighting. Even with a weak attempt to soften the fluorescent lights in the ceiling with fabric (paper?) panels, the lighting level was more appropriate for a coffee shop or diner. Because the food was at a higher level of finish than the decor, more attention to lighting and ambience could easily have justified a higher price for the experience.

[Itinerary Page]

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