|Ardoise outside of Le Petit Cafe|
Opened by Renaud and Marilene Geille and their lovely daughter Marina, the place is welcoming, animated and beautifully appointed.
Today my friend June and I took ourselves to Le Sejour for our first visit.
I don't know if you remember but 11 rue Grimaldi used to be an African art store. Now it is as charming as a cozy living room.
Also you may know that Renaud and Mariléne Geille used to be owners of Les Viviers ( since 1998) and its Bistrot not far from this new address in Nice as well as three or four other well known establishments before that time. Since 2006 , Le Viviers was sold and this new project was launched with daughter, Marina.
Marina was in fact the one who recruited the new chef, Thomas Prod'homme.... just 26 years old... but already established at the Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel.
His menu is fresh Mediterranean with a contemporary flair and an emphasis on fish.
Each day there is a varied, tasty menu to choose from but June and I decided to go straight for the main course and leave room for dessert instead of an appetizer.
I chose a risotto with its sauce of cepes and garnished with Morilles. It took a while coming to the table because I am sure it was made fresh after I ordered it.
June chose a succulent slab of Cabillaud ( cod) with a bed of fresh spinach. We were both very pleased with our choices. And looking around I saw all the dishes beautifully presented. Chapeau!
We both jumped at the "cafe affogato "when we saw it at the bottom of the dessert menu although next time I just might have to try the Irish coffee ice cream with "chantilly". Affogato for those of you who have travelled or lived in Italy, is simply hot coffee over vanilla ice cream ( home made) and a bit of whipped cream on top. I could tell that the coffee was especially good. I will have to ask next time what they use.
Marina says ,"Je voulais revenir a Nice et créer aux cotés de mes parents un lieu gourmand, authentique et chaleureux"
and I think the family and team has succeeded in all of that.
The service was friendly, welcoming, and the food delicious.
Yes, it is a bit pricier than other places... but with good reason. A main course, a glass of Sauvigion blanc, and an" affogato" came to 72 euros for the pair of us. It was worth that.
For me and for many others, the total ambience has to be there as well as excellent food for the experience to make an impression.
Next June and I will try Le Petit Cafe down the street at number 2 rue Grimaldi. It will be like going into the next part of the dining room and just as agreeable I am sure.
Marina spoke to us afterward and asked us if we had enjoyed our meal. Now even that friendliness makes a big difference to me.
Le Sejour Cafe
11 rue Grimaldi
04 93 27 37 84
Call ahead. The place was completely full inside and out.