Wednesday, September 3, 2014

L'Ecole de Nice: Restaurant Review

 I have heard various reports about the restaurant: L'ecole de Nice....a place that has been around since 2012 but I had never tried.  One couple I know had poor service there, but no one has complained about the food itself.   

  So I decided it was time to go find out first hand and to take one of my good buddies along. 

 Meet Patrick.

      The restaurant L'ecole de Nice is named for the art movement of the same moniker that includes Arman, Alocco (nice guy), Ben, Cesar, Yves Klein and many other  Nicoise artists from the 60's.    The concept of this bistrot marries art, music and cuisine to represent the city of Nice.  

The idea was conceived by three friends: the "chef étoilé,  Keisuke Matsushima ; his second in command, Yoshinobu Seki and a Franco /Japanese composer and DJ called Marc Panther.  

The Michelin starred chef has two other restaurant collaborations:  The Poisidon (17 rue Gubernatis) and the original restaurant named for him : Keisuke Matshshima ( 22  rue de France).  

Since this is a "cantine"  we were rewarded with the same quality one would find at the other restaurants but with a much reduced menu and modest prices.  For two courses, the price is 18 euros and for an "entree, Plat et Dessert"  ( three courses) the price is 25 euros. One can add a fish course for another 10 euros : 4 courses for 35 euros for lunch.  

I chose the menu of the day which happened to be rabbit which I love and peach melba which is also a favorite.   

Here is my rabbit dish: the cylinders of tender rabbit sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes.  There was something else ( more than one) which might have been "sweetbreads". What do rabbits have more than one of?  It was really tasty and didn't taste like liver.  I am not really sure what it was but it was delicious. 

I forgot to get a picture of Patrick's starter which was an aubergine pate with a chèvre cheese sorbet.  It was a winning combination.  

For the second course, Patrick chose slices of Rouget with scalloped potatoes:  He was quite  pleased with this dish as well.

Then the friendly Japanese waitress brought our desserts:  

Patrick had pineapple cannelles with white strips of merengue served between them.  The flavor was reminiscent of those banana candies we had as kids called circus peanuts.  Do you remember those?  

  But the flavor of his dessert was much more nuanced, thank goodness.   But what does Patrick think about it?  

NO... just kidding:  actually he liked it.  

And did I enjoy my peach melba?   Yes, the peach was poached in cinnamon and ginger and the ice cream was home made. 

I would give a thumbs up to the cuisine, the ambience and the service of this little bistrot.  The room was a little less formal than my experience the other day at Le Passe plat and I think I prefer more formal. 

 But you notice, the plates were white or just a clear dish for the melba.  ... which is much more appealing with the colors of the food than the overly used slate ( ardoise) for a table service.

With any of the restaurants that offer a reduced menu, I think one needs to go back and try different offerings on other days.  

 And in the case of "L'ecole de Nice"  you won't have any trouble persuading Patrick or me to do just that. 


  1. One reason we like L'Ecole de Nice is that it IS informal. That's why you weren't lighter by 40 or 50 Euros. Anyway, the food is always delicious, the ingredients fresh, and blessedly not overcooked. The walls are lined with works...reproductions, of the artists of that "school". It's also a short walk for us. Btw, too bad that Yuzu, further down Buffa, has closed. It was the only genuine Japanese sushi resto in Nice. The chef and his wife retired. But there's also Ma Yucca down the street that's cosy, with good affordable food."

  2. If you had a "friendly Japanese waitress" they must have gotten rid of the guy who served us. When we asked for other music, he said, "That's what the kitchen wants!" He practically threw our plates down in front of us. He ruined what would have been a delicious meal.

    G. and D.