“Yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy” Remember this bubblegum hit from 1968? No? Anyway, that’s how I felt after eating at Chez Palmyre ( 5 rue Droite, Nice; tel 04 93 85 72 32) last night. It’s all about love, man, and this tiny bistro in Old Nice serves up love on a plate.
Created in 1926 by a mother-daughter team, Chez Palmyre attracted a devoted crew of regulars by turning out an ever-changing menu of Riviera comfort food. Along the way, it gathered memories and mementos that are cheerfully stuffed onto the walls and behind the counter. If your grandma lived in Nice and opened a restaurant, this is what it would look like.
After mother and daughter left this earth and France respectively, the restaurant was taken over by Vincent Verneveaux, formerly of Guy Savoy who brought a light, modern touch to the traditional food. The menu changes every two weeks and includes a choice of four starters, main courses and desserts.
Notice the nice choice of meat, fish and veggie dishes which may have been a break with the restaurant’s old-time probably meat-centric choices. I began with a flaky tart topped with girolles mushrooms and a soft-boiled egg. Fragrant. The aiöli centered on cod fillet rather than the traditional salted morue which was fine as sometimes morue can be a bit tough. Others at the table chose the duck in orange sauce which was copious and hearty. Too bad for the low-carbites that didn’t taste the chewy, delicious sourdough baguette, perfect for sopping up the aiöli sauce. The desserts were simple and delicious arrangements involving chocolate or poached pear or pastry in rum sauce (below).
As the restaurant only seats 25 at the very most, it is essential to reserve at least a week, probably two weeks in advance. Oh, I forgot to mention the PRICE of this three-course menu is only €15! What’s not to love?
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