I recently came back from a short break in Nice. I had heard a lot about the beautiful climate and beaches, but what about the food?!
Everywhere you turn in Nice, there are (touristy) reminders that you are in Provence. Lavender and olives feature heavily as souvenirs, transformed into an impressive array of incarnations. I did happen upon one wonderful shop (http://www.alziari.com.fr) where the olive was highly celebrated from the oil to the wood. I bought a canister of their olive oil and it is truly incredible stuff. Here are some of the whole olives they had for sale, they had multiple varieties in a range of sauces and spices.
Apart from the influences from Provence, something I hadn’t thought of was of the Italian influences you can see on the menus in the town, owing to Nice’s proximity to the border. Pasta and pizza both feature heavily. Admittedly some of this is for feeding time at the tourist-zoo, but even in the restaurants off the beaten track, you can get some very good, authentic pizza.
Being on the coast there is a vast amount of seafood on the menus in Nice. This was dinner one of the nights. It was one of the biggest plates of pasta I have ever been served, and thoroughly delicious.
Another great spot in Nice’s old town is the Cours Saleya. It is a mish-mash of stalls selling various forms of art, trinkets, and most importantly is home to a lot of sea-food restaurants. As this is tourist-central, prices on the menus reflect that. However some of the seafood on offer is just wonderful. Dinner another night was this wonderful seafood platter. The oysters were the highlight for me, fresh and sweet.
As I had arrived late to the trip, my travelling companions were intent on dragging me to an ice-cream shop, which they assured me I would love. Little did I know what I was in for.
This is Fenocchio (http://www.fenocchio.fr). I overheard a local talking to what must have been a visiting friend, “This, is the main attraction of Nice.”
Over my few days in Nice, I frequented this place numerous times. You would need to, they have 94 flavours currently. 59 ice-cream and 35 different flavoured sorbets. They were incredible. They have all of the regular flavours one would expect, and then the rest! I had too many ‘favourites’ to start giving an in-depth analysis of each, but one that really stands out was the rhubarb sorbet. It was insanely good, and incredibly refreshing in the hot weather. There were some fantastic flavours on offer, but in addition it was also beautifully made ice-cream.
I will be back to Nice. Its mix of great food and even better weather is a winning combination. Plus I still have over eighty flavours to get through.