Boccaccio (tel:04 93 87 71 76, 7 rue Massena) serves up rip-roaring portions of carefully prepared fish, seafood and top-quality meat in an Art-Deco dining room. It’s not cheap (figure €25 to €40 a main course) but you won’t go away disappointed–or hungry.
I normally avoid restaurants on the touristy rue Massena as the cafes and restaurants here are reported to be more concerned with fleecing tourists than providing good value for money. But Boccaccio does an honest job.
The amuse bouche was an octopus salad with diced tomatoes, olive oil and herbs. It was nice to have something to actually eat for an amuse bouche as opposed to the ubiquitous froth-in-a-glass.
For a starter, I chose the “tapas” which was really various sushi-size cuts of fresh, lightly cooked fish on a bed of various vegetables–from onion confit to grilled peppers to seasoned leeks. It was copious and tasty. John happily dug into a huge mound of mussels and praires, steamed in light sauce. As you can tell, the theme was no-fuss Provencale.
The main courses were equally impressive. I chose the dorade; it was impeccably grilled and then filleted with a pot of basil and olive oil on the side. The quality of the fish was superb. It had obviously lived a happy and free life in the sea. John chose the milk-fed lamb and also found the quality of the meat and the preparation were excellent.
Dessert was also giant-sized. We split a concoction composed of a chocolate mousse sandwiched in a thin, crunchy pastry with candied orange zest scattered on top.
Verdict: Non-pretentious but highly satisfying cuisine. Not for the budget-conscious.
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