The Spirit of the North
Akvavit: 35 rue Marechal Joffre, 06000 Nice, 04.93.85.79.87
Across the road from our Nice apartments "Marechal" and "Paola", this little eatery is a firm favourite of ours. The owners are Ellen and Kim, a young Danish couple who have lived in France off and on for the last eight years. When they have been away from Nice, they have worked on a boat as the culinary staff travelling around the world as they worked. A nice life if you can get it! Kim is usually tucked away in his tiny kitchen whilst his wife Ellen runs the front of house with a warm yet efficient manner. Both Kim and Ellen speak fluent French as well as English – and of course Danish!
As you might expect, there is very much a Scandinavian feel to the whole place. The décor is all clean lines, chrome, sparkling mirrors and beech wood. There are less than 20 covers here and unfortunately, no outside space available so it can get busy very quickly. Lunch tends to be busier than in the evenings and we love Kim and Ellen’s attitude to the late lunchtime sittings. Unlike many other restaurants they are happy to serve latecomers well past the usual 2pm cut off point.
The cuisine on offer is simple, but each dish goes beyond the usual fare found in Provençal restaurants. It is also a great place for those who love either fish or steaks.
Starters include green asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon with an herb dressing, gazpacho, Niçois tartlet with local vegetables and goat’s cheese, Caesar Salad with chicken and cured ham with melon and basil. There are always some suggestions of the day offered on a chalkboard. The average cost of a starter is a very fairly priced 9 euros.
The rib steaks, tuna steaks and salmon come with a choice of four sauces and either potatoes, noodles and vegetables or rice. I love the fresh yellow fin tuna with ratatouille sauce and potatoes and think it is a fantastic meal for 18 euros.
If you want to sample a little of AKVAVIT’s Scandinavian specialities then perhaps try one of the three fish Carpaccio on offer: smoked salmon, dill marinated salmon (Gravad Lax) or smoked halibut. All for around 10 euros.
The homemade desserts are all around 5 euros and include crème brûlée with sweet picked apricots, flambéed crêpes, fresh pineapple with chocolate ice-cream and fresh strawberries marinated with orange and vanilla.
The pride and attention to detail shows it the spotless surroundings, and the perfect accompaniment to your meal—a cute basket of thinly sliced bread of three different kinds. We love the dark nutty one. Every time we eat here, we have had great service, got fantastic value for money and eaten very fresh and wholesome food. The wine menu is also decent and sodas are available
We highly recommend you give AKVAVIT a try.
On your door step to AKVAVIT are our three bedroom Nice Pebbles holiday apartments Poala or Marechal .
Your nearest two bedroom holiday apartments are Castle Joli or Verdi.
Your nearest one bedroom apartment is Studio Barracuda.
– Gayle, Riviera Pebbles. If you would like to contact Gayle, you can email her at email@example.com.
Ever since the Greeks founded Nice and called it Nikaia, this city has absorbed culinary influences from around the world. Ellen and Kim are not the first Scandinavians to make a mark on the local culinary culture – hundreds of years ago, Nice began to import salted cod from Scandinavia in exchange for olive oil. This resulted in many local dishes that use this dried fish, from bourride (salt cod and potato purée) to stockfish (dried fish in a tomato and pepper stew). You’ll still see salted cod sold in some of the shops along rue Pairolière: buy it pre-soaked or soak it in the refrigerator for 48 hours, changing the water a few times. Then poach it for ten minutes to serve with garlic mayonnaise (aioli) and steamed vegetables.