Easter Sunday marks the grand resurrection of beach restaurants in Cannes so I decided to check out Rado Plage, which is famous for being the oldest beach-restaurant in Cannes. I must admit that it was not the restaurant’s illustrious history that attracted me but the two-course fixed price menu for €20.50. Dining along the beach in Cannes can be a very expensive proposition! You’re lucky to get a salad or a small plate of pasta for that price. Sure, you can enjoy the sun and surf but what about filling up the tummy?
I’m happy to report that Rado Plage satisfied on all counts from price to taste to portion size. The two-course menu offered a choice of three starters and three main courses. Although the salmon tartare and seafood cocktail looked tempting, we opted for the old standby, Salade Niçoise and were not disappointed. All the ingredients were fresh and the vinaigrette was well-balanced. It was nearly a meal in itself. The main course was even better. A good chunk of hake was sauteed in a Mediterranean sauce and accompanied by sauteed carrots, ratatouille, rice and an interesting flan. My companion enjoyed giant sauteed shrimp with the same side dishes. We were also well-pleased with the crisp house rosé. For an extra €5 we could have ordered the three-course menu but, frankly we were already full.
There may be finer dining along the Cannes bay and there are surely glitzier and trendier places, but we agreed that Rado Plage offers the best value for money of all the Cannes beach restaurants.
As rue Saint Antoine winds its way up to Le Suquet hill overlooking Cannes, there are a number of shops and restaurants set up to tempt the tourists into stopping. You can bypass many of them but don’t miss Le Relais des Semailles if you have any interest whatsoever in fine dining.
The decor is cozy and traditional, perfect for a romantic dinner or a tete a tete among friends. Chef Bertrand Saint-Vannes marries fresh, local products with traditional classic preparation and the result is splendid. The soupe de poisson drew raves from around the table. Asparagus is in season now and was delightfully presented with truffle sauce and a poached egg. Yum. My main course was a free-range chicken with creamy polenta on the side. The light sauce gave the tender chicken a pleasing zing. The dessert was OK; fresh stawberries sat on a crumbly nutty cake with a slice of chocolate on the side. I very much appreciated the amuse-bouche at the beginning of the meal and the freshly-baked bread on the side.
Sleek and modern, L’Affable is one of the better mid-range Cannes restaurants. The subtle lighting, modern art and gleaming tableware provide a perfect setting for a business lunch or friendly diner a deux. Chef Jean-Paul Battaglia applies a light touch to his preparations. Nothing is too terribly rich or too terribly spicy. He prefers fish and seafood over meat and does wonderful things with vegetables. I began with a Ceviche garniture mimosa, raw fish with a sprinkling of herbs on the side. The fish was sea-fresh but could have used a little something extra to highlight the flavours. The main course was a perfect dorade served over pureed potatoes married with a light and subtle sauce. But the highlight was an incredible Grand Marnier souffle at the end, a real tour de force, neither too sweet nor too rich (see photo).