Cagnes Sur Mer Rental Apartments-Restaurant Review-Restaurant Lou Lou

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San Marco
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Lou Lou

91 Boulevard de la Plage, Cagnes Sur Mer
+33 (0)4-93-31-00-17

Menu Poisson

Lou Lou is just a couple of minutes' walk from Le Lido apartment complex, where we used to live. So for about a year we walked past it, not realising what we were missing. Knowing it was Michelin starred, we presumed it would be too expensive for everyday dining, but one day we looked at the menu posted outside and realised we were wrong. As Michelin starred goes, Lou Lou isn't very expensive. So on a slightly special occasion we tried it. And then we tried it again, and again and again.

holiday apartments CannesIt's fabulously no fuss, friendly and with not a hint of some of the stuffiness you sometimes find in Michelin-starred restaurants. Eric Campo (one of the two brothers who own the restaurant) meets you at the door, knife in hand, as he stops his expert carving of meat or fish to say hello and wait for a waiter to bring you to your table. He wears chef's whites on top, jeans and boots below.

The menu is fairly straightforward, with an emphasis on fish. Other specialities include fabulous steaks, which are brought in from a top Paris butcher and cooked on the Campo grill at the entrance to the restaurant. There is also lobster at 82 euros and bouillabaisse at 74 euros (for a minimum of two). Those in the know apparently phone in their orders. Often when we have arrived the restaurant has been close to empty. Thirty minutes later we are surrounded by tables of happy diners already tucking into their lobster. We realised the popularity of this trick when we noticed several different wines decanted on a sideboard which were poured within minutes of these canny guests' arrival.

When you are ready to order, it's a mixture of the two friendly waiters or Eric taking your order. Eric has quite a presence and we think he likes to influence your choice. Rumour has it that the Campo brothers have bowed down to sheer pressure to produce a menu. Really it's a menu of sorts. At the bottom of the menu is the disclaimer, "Selon la saison et le march» du jour cetains produits prevent manquer. Merci de nous en excuser". Each time we have eaten here, at least one of our first choices has been met with a polite refusal. For us this is an asset rather than a problem. It shows that they take pride in their food and would rather steer you to something fresh and tasty than serve you what they think is substandard. We love this attitude that the most important thing is how fresh and good the daily catch is, or how tender the beef.

We most often opt for the 45 euro, three-course menu poisson. The fish soup is the best I have ever tasted, and I've tasted many. Only the foie gras with apple and sultanas (6 euro supplement) has stopped me from ordering the soup every time. On my last visit I opted for the fried anchovies with tomatoes and basil and was almost pleased when it wasn't available so I could have my trusted soup instead.

With the menu poisson, the main course is simply the best fish of the day either grilled or roasted. Not only is the fish cooked to perfection, but Eric always expertly bones it for you and you only ever get the best bits. This to me makes a huge difference. I hate wrestling with the bones. Nothing quite diminishes a fish course than the fear that you are one swallow away from choking. Along with the fish are perfectly cooked slices of potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a clove or roasted garlic on the side so you can season as you wish. All drizzled in oil and optional balsamic vinegar.

The desserts are simple—apple tart with ice cream, warm chocolate cake. We always tell ourselves on the way in that we are not having the dessert wine this time, but inevitably we do. It is a popular drop with a fair number of diners who take it with the foie gras starter or as an aperitif. We always try to catch the name, but always forget. Maybe next time?

It probably comes as no surprise that the wine cellar is also classic, with the usual Provençal offerings of Bellet and Côtes de Provence along with some more unusual regional offerings.

Now we are almost regulars, we like sit towards the front of the restaurant so we can watch Eric and Joseph at work. There is no stress, no egos, no Gordon Ramsay shouting matches—just two brothers quietly whistling as they go about their work, chatting to the diners as they come in, helping the two waiters serve the customers, and waving us off as we all leave contended.

– Gayle, Riviera Pebbles. If you would like to contact Gayle, you can email her at

Rosa says,

Local fish is not as plentiful as you might think along the French Riviera. Fish restaurants abound, but catch around Nice is small and many restaurants rely on fish from Italy or the French Atlantic coast. At the seaside town of Cagnes sur Mer, a few traditional fishermen still set out each night in small boats to supply the town's best restaurants and fish shops. Below are some of the fish that are most likely to come from the Côte d'Azur.

Rouget—Red mullet A beautiful fish with gleaming orange skin, red mullet is one of the more distinctive-tasting Mediterranean fish. The flesh has a delicate texture and is often matched with olives and tomatoes. Small red mullet are fried whole, often with their livers which are considered a delicacy.

Loup—Sea bass Known as bar in the rest of France, loup is so named in the south because it's considered the wolf of the sea. Most prized are the biggest specimens weighing two or three kilos, which are most often grilled over an open fire or baked in a salt crust. The flesh is snow-white and tastes subtly of the sea. Smaller sea bass are also delicious, but be sure to look for line-caught (loup de ligne) rather than farm-raised fish (poissons d'élevage).

Daurade or dorade—Sea bream Many different fish are sold as daurade, the king of these being the daurade royale. Because its white flesh is fragile, daurade is most often roasted in the oven with flavourings such as wild fennel and lemon tucked into its cavity. It can also be filleted and fried just until the skin is crisp.

Baudroie or lotte—Monkfish Most French monkfish comes from the Atlantic, but occasionally you will see Mediterranean monkfish, which is referred to as baudroie rather than the more common term lotte. The head is usually considered too ugly to display, while the tail has firm white flesh that has earned this fish the nickname "lobster of the sea." Monkfish features in the fish stew bourride, whose sauce is a combination of garlic mayonnaise and fish stock.

Sardines—Sardines In the south of France, sardines are not something that comes in a tin but a flavourful fish that can be stuffed and baked, marinated raw, grilled or fried in batter. Gutting them is not a lot of fun, but the fishmonger will often do it for you. In the classic Niçois dish of sardines farcies, they are stuffed with a mixture of Swiss chard, spinach and egg. A more modern way to prepare them is to marinate the raw fillets in olive oil with strips of Moroccan preserved lemon and sundried tomato.