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A La Table d’Edmund
7 Avenue de l’Eglise, Mougins
+33 (0)4 92 92 15 31
Ravioli with Bite
German-Swiss chef Edmund Becker settled on the Riviera many years ago and since then his little restaurant in Mougins has gone from strength to strength.
We have only eaten here twice, so are by no means regulars, but both times have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Though this isn’t a budget restaurant, the food is exceptionally good for the price. At any time of year you’ll find the dining room filled with happy food lovers. Even in January you can eat on the terrace, which is kept snug with patio heaters and plastic awnings.
People come from Cannes and well beyond for the patented (apparently!) ravielli, large open ravioli stuffed with foie gras and truffles, poultry and morel mushrooms, or Provençal cheese. As a main dish, it costs € 18-27, as a starter between € 13-20.
The first time we ate here I had the chef’s special bouillabaisse and Matthew chose thick and juicy lamb chops marinated in olive oil and rosemary. I noticed both were still popular on our second visit. It almost made us regret going for the "chef’s suggestion" € 55 set menu as we tucked into my amuse-bouche. But any regrets vanished when we saw the first dish, gambas aux trois saveurs. The three large prawns on a bed of well-composed salad and balsamic vinegar were lovely. Each one tasted subtly different and made us excited about what was to come.
The foie gras with summer truffle ravielli followed. The shaved truffle topping adds another dimension to this delicate dish.
After a palate-cleansing sorbet, it was time for the main course. Here, hubby and I took separate culinary paths. Both our dishes were served with a small dollop of potato purée and seasonal vegetables. Even though Matthew enjoyed his grilled turbot, he was slightly sulky after he has tasted my veal. Both of us agreed that it really was spectacular and perhaps the finest we had ever tasted. Rather than slivers of meat, this was two three-inch slices of what we both thought looked like fillet steak rather than veal. Pink and juicy, it had been perfectly cooked even though I hadn’t been asked how I’d like it. (I think they hate us English for wanting to charcoal everything and I tend to agree with their policy that they know best.)
Having taken the set menu, dessert should have been for both of us the tiramisù a la framboise, an interesting variation on one of our firm favourites. Pleasingly, we were given the menu again and told we could choose from any of the eight suggestions, which range from € 10-12. Having spent some time wavering between the gratin de fruits rouges (the house speciality), or the parfait aux pruneaux l’Armagnac, I opted for the rather dull marquise aux chocolat praline fait maison, figuring I hadn’t reached my chocolate quota this week.
When it arrived it was anything but dull. The chocolate was rich and creamy and combined with the praline underneath was just yummy. Again, Matthew looked a little forlorn. He had opted for the tiramasù, which again he thought was delicious, but I could see he had his eye on mine. I gave in two spoonfuls from the end, and he took no time at all polishing off this chocolate heaven.
A la carte, the starters and soups cost € 14-27, the fish mains € 32-39, and the meat € 19-35. The wine list is well chosen. We opted for a safe and satisfying Bandol at € 30, though we may be more adventurous next time. If you are on a budget, there was another set menu on offer at € 39 (menu lavande), with four courses and still featuring the ravielli (this time with the poultry and mushrooms) followed by the lamb I loved on my first visit.
Mougins is an enclave of good restaurants, some of the best on the Riviera. La Table d’Edmund is not the best known but still oozes class without breaking the bank. It has a lovely rustic provincial feel, attentive service, and a great chef who makes the most of the Provençal herbs and seasonings on offer. There are about 50 covers so it would be wise to reserve a table in high season.
– Gayle, Riviera Pebbles. If you would like to contact Gayle you can email her at email@example.com
If most people think of ravioli as thoroughly Italian, this filled pasta has long been a fixture on the Côte d’Azur and some southerners are bold enough to claim that it tastes better here than across the nearby border.
That’s a hard statement to prove, but what is undeniable is that southern French ravioli are distinctive. The pasta is generally rolled thicker than in Italy, which gives it more bite, and is sometimes made with spinach or Swiss chard (blettes) for the green colour and bolder taste.
The classic filling for the small square ravioli found on the coast is a mixture of beef stew, known as daube, and chopped Swiss chard. Fresh pasta shops also sell the same ravioli filled with ricotta, pesto filling, artichokes, and sometimes cep mushrooms. The best-known pasta shop in Nice is Barale, while in Cannes you’ll find a huge variety, including salmon, olive, and goat’s cheese versions, at Aux Bons Raviolis. Even in small towns fresh pasta shops are common, so keep your eyes open.
Fresh ravioli are the perfect solution for when you don’t feel like cooking, but still want to eat something that tastes homemade. Pasta shops also sell accompanying sauces, most often tomato with basil, bolognaise, pesto, and a creamy cep sauce. If you buy Niçois ravioli (filled with daube and chard), try them with the daube sauce that is sold alongside this pasta. Plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a must, as is a good drizzling of local olive oil.
And, if you’re feeling really lazy, there are plenty of chefs like Edmund who never tire of finding new ways with what must be the world’s most versatile pasta.