Long known by the local cognoscenti, Flaveur recently burst onto a wider scene when Michelin awarded it a star only a month ago. Since then it’s been a scramble to get a reservation but oh, is it worth the wait. It clearly belongs on any list of the best restaurants in Nice. The lunch deal provided an unbelievably good value for money. For only €32, you got an starter, main course, dessert plus a glass of wine plus coffee. And the food was exquisite.
We all began with a kir as aperitif and enjoyed a tiny disk of smoked haddock with a cream sauce as an amuse-bouche. For my starter, I chose the Risotto au vert / Gambas et Pétoncles / Copeaux d’asperges et citron caviar an exciting and highly original interpretation of risotto with shrimp, sliced asparagus, sprouts and peas. Each mouthful was an adventure that involved the clever combination of myriad flavors all smoothed into harmony. A crunch here, a tart touch there, a whiff of an exotic spice, an undertone of lemon; it was impossible to pin down but the result was divine.
The main course was Volaille fermière rôtie sur la peau / Brocoletti et Grenobloise / Jus corsé au thym citron. The morsels of free-range chicken breast were topped with a juicy skin and surrounded by a delicately seasoned broccoli puree dotted with pine nuts and teensy croutons. The flavors were superb but the meat was a little drier than I would like. Then again, if you want a juicy chicken breast, don’t choose a free-range chicken I suppose.
The dessert was another triumph: Croustillant Rose-Litchi / Mousse Ivoire / Glace chocolat blanc. To accent the pairing of rose and litchi flavors, the dessert was served with a small vial of rose-water infusion that you squirted over the concoction. What I liked was that as you spooned your way through the dish, a little morsel of litchi would pop up here and there in the white-chocolate ice cream.
The meal was creative without being precious, inventive, intuitive and an eloquent ode to a spring day on the Cote d’Azur.