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Here are three rental apartments in Antibes near
Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit.
• La Guérite
• Chevre d'Or
CAGNES SUR MER
• Restaurant Lou Lou
• A La Table d’Edmund
• L'Auberge de la Penne
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This gorgeous little restaurant more than deserves its Michelin star. The lunch we had here was fantastic and well worth the 180 euros (for two of us) for an upmarket special treat. We tried it based on rave recommendations we found on the web and were not at all disappointed. The décor is chic, the staff both plentiful and attentive, and the food superb.
As we sipped our kir and munched on the appetizers, Matthew and I decided to order the “menu Le Figuier” at 62 euros each. The other option for lunch or dinner is the 83 euro menu, a multi-course extravaganza. If you plan on opting for the full gastronomic feast you’d be wise to arrive ravenous.
While our “foie gras frais d’oie des Landes mariné au vin de pêche, cuit au torchon” and “cromesquis de brandade de morue et rougets de Mediterranée rotis” were being prepared, we were brought a simple courgette puree with olive oil as an amuse-bouche. It was delicious.
Perhaps our favourite touch of the meal was the “formule vin Le Figuier”. For 21.60 euros each the sommelier will select three different wines for you to complement the dishes you have chosen. This meant rather than a compromise by each of us on either food or wine with a shared bottle, we ended up with six very different drops – all perfect for the dishes we had chosen. My sweet white was perfect for the foie gras and Matthew was very pleased with his earthy red to go with his cod and red mullet – something he never would have chosen himself.
It was a robust red from Cahors for Matthew’s “côte de cochon – the Duke of Berkshire – cuite au poelon”. The piglet was succulent and tender and the accompanying roasted apple and black pudding great partners. “noix de coquilles Saint-Jacques dieppoises poêlees” were perfectly cooked and complemented with apple and vegetables. A crisp French Chardonnay helped wash it down.
Time for the desserts! We chose “ravioli de poire Williams au pralin” and “Les fèves de cacao”. Whilst waiting, we were brought a panacotta with passion fruit to freshen up and a plate of mini desserts such as apple tarts and profiteroles. With the desserts we were served a slightly fizzy white that worked well with the pear ravioli and ginger ice cream and a 10-year-old Port with the chocolate cake and pistachio ice cream. Finally Matthew had a coffee and I took a mint tea, served the old fashioned way with fresh mint and a leaf strainer. A perfect end to a perfect meal.
With every plate we were given a thorough description of what was being served and staff were attentive from the beginning. At the end of the meal Christian Morisset himself came out to speak to us, as he had done with almost every diner there. No airs and graces with this chef; he was a true gentleman and more than happy to indulge us in our photos.
Whilst waiting for the bill, we spoke to his wife, Josianne, who runs the front of house and expressed our pleasure at what was perhaps the best meal we’d had in at least six months. We learned that Le Figuier has been open under their management for four years now. Christian Morisset earned two Michelin stars at his previous restaurant, La Terrasse Christian Morisset, in the hotel Juana in Juan Les Pins. We wish them continued success. If you are staying in one of our holiday apartments in Antibes, you really must try this gorgeous place
Though foie gras is a speciality of southwest France, you’ll often find it on the menus of the better restaurants on the Riviera. Goose foie gras is more delicate-tasting than duck foie gras, and is generally pricier as less of it is produced. Fresh foie gras may be cut into slices and pan-fried, or marinated and poached as it was at Le Figuier St-Esprit. Around Christmas, many restaurants serve their own foie gras terrines: layers of fresh foie gras which are seasoned, sometimes flavoured with alcohol and baked in an earthenware dish. At the bistro Luc Salsedo in Nice, you can order a foie gras terrine to take home for your Christmas feast. Jams and chutneys made with Provençal fruit — perhaps peach, fig or green tomato with ginger, available at the boutique Oliviera in Nice — provide the perfect sweet contrast to this mellow-tasting liver. You can also try sprinkling it with the rose-flavoured sea salt that is sold at the Cours Saleya market.
Food critic and cookbook author Rosa Jackson moved to France from Canada in 1995 to work at the Cordon Bleu cooking school and run Paris Market Tours. Rosa loves the way of life on the French Riviera and has made Nice her home with her husband and five year old son.
Rosa has written two cookbooks, edited five editions of the Time Out Paris Eating and Drinking Guide, updated the dining chapters of the 2006 Time Out South of France and Fodor’s Provence and the Cote d’Azur guides and written about food for magazines and newspapers around the world.
As well as writing for Riviera Pebbles and for numerous other publications, she runs the custom-designed itinerary service edible-paris.com and through Les Petits Farcis offers market tours, cooking classes, and meet-the-producers tours. To read more about Rosa’s inspiring life in Nice and Paris, visit her food blog!
Riviera Pebbles is delighted to have her on board to share her knowledge and passion for the edible delights of the Riviera.