Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cannes Restaurant Rundown

Unsurprisingly Cannes has a fantastic choice of eating and drinking establishments and some er, quirkier ones. Over the last fortnight in the Cote d'Azur I've sampled them all and will share my wisdom with you.
Rue Florian, La Riad to the right, Sushi Kan to the left of the pic
As if the big Buddha head didn't give it away...
First up is a really hidden gem of a street housing gorgeous alfresco and indoor dining. Rue Florian is tucked away behind the main Croisette if you head up Rue Commandment Andre, which houses the gorgeous Dior on the corner. In Rue Florian you will find Sushi Kan, La Riad and Maccheroni, three very different and equally impressive restaurants. First up La Riad hosts authentic Moroccan cuisine from tagines to cous cous (sometimes confusingly called semolina) as well as lovely sharing starters, dips and shisa - if that's your thing.
We went for shared starters of lentil salads and hummus with 'bricks' which are meats and cheeses cased in flaky pastry. The cheese bricks were my favourite  The service however was painfully slow, potentially our fault as more and more people wanted to join the party and we ended up as a table double the size of the 9 we started with...

Opposite is Sushi Kan. We've eaten here before and the sushi, ambiance and everything about this place is all you could want from your sushi. This time I grabbed a quick lunch bite - warm and battered (trust me it works) shrimp sushi to start with noodles. I was starving and this satisfied me all the way to happy stuffed-ness.

Hot battered sushi. Seriously. Yum
Shrimp noodles, standard
Across the way (next door to La Riad in fact...) Sushi Kan is Maccheroni. Some of our group dined here on consecutive nights as they loved it so much. Not surprisingly based on the name; the name of the game is pasta. On arriving you are presented with a glass case filled with all the different types of pasta. Choose your pasta, choose your sauce et voila. I opted for maccheroni (obviously) and shrimp pasta (obviously) M (who came to France as I had a couple of days off...) went for maccheroni and maccheroni...their signature fillet steak dish. Be warned...ensure you are all eating garlic as they are not shy with the portions!
Loving the menu

Small touch of garlic in each dish...and I'd eaten loads before this pic
Venture into the old town and you will find a gorgeous steep cobbled street housing at least a dozen cure little French restaurants. After wandering up and down we committed on L'Assiette. We went for an outdoor table as, well you know there is no chance of that in London right now, so making the most is key. The outdoor heaters were temptingly sitting off and broken! But still, late October in a strapless dress and leather jacket could be worse...we opted for the Champagne train to keep us warm from the outside in.
Rue St Antoine in the old town, delicious

Loving the Cannes Film Festival poster too
Chicken, I don't order it often. Good job it was delicious
In my natural habitat

Satisfying 'crunch'

No relation to it's big London brother

The food in L'Assiette is fantastic. Most restaurants in Cannes will offer a set menu with 2/3 choices per course for around €35. This is what we opted for. To start I went tomato and mozzarella salad. As you would expect from the continent they were the freshest most delicious ingredients. For main? Chicken and potatoes au gratin which were the cheesiest, garlicky creations ever. Totally delicious of course. For dessert, when in Rome...Crème brûlée. It was pretty good. Not the best I've sampled, that crown still lives in Paris.

Le Bistro Gourmand again in the old town is very traditional, friendly, small and non-complex. The food is totally delicious. Again we went for a set menu, starting with ratatouille, fish for main and after a very pungent whiskey sorbet, a melt in the middle chocolate sorbet. Again, not the fastest service in the world but worth waiting for.

So strong, so strange. Palette was cleansed though...

New York New York on the front opposite the Casino and adjacent to err... McDonald's is a good non-fussy 'new York' brasserie. They serve a great menu which what it has in choice it doesn't lose in awesomeness of taste. The food is really good quality, better than you may expect. From Pizza to burgers, steak and foie gras 'something for everyone' is definitely what's in store.

Slab of steak
May not look like much here...
But this was one seriously good burger
One of the worst places we ate was Up. Close to New York on the front there is no atmosphere even though it was Saturday night, the food was distinctly average even edging on the poor side and it isn't even all that cheap. I went for squid ring risotto with pesto, sounds delicious? it wasn't. Rubbery squid and the pasta wasn't anything to write home about. M was desperate for a pizza and although I'd vetoed NYNY as I dine there with work we were on the hunt for one. They had pizza on the menu, the place was quite busy but do not be fooled. We even stayed for a dessert. Nothing special here people, move it right along...

Not a lot to say about this really!
Cafe Roma is worth checking out for people watching, cocktails and good food. I have no photos (so hard to get away with not looking like a Class A Nutter when you're having a meeting and whip out your camera...) but trust me and try the gnocchi.

Finally if you get a day off - oh I'm sorry, I mean day on the beach! La Plage Goeland is well worth checking out. Any where that brings your food to your sunbed is a goer in my book. I opted for steak tartare, M went for BBQ chicken and chips, how very was however delicious especially washed down with a nice cold beer on such a hot day.

More Cannes related loveliness to come. What a difference a week makes. When is the summer coming back!?
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