Bonjour!! I am back in the States as my European tour concluded this week, and I wanted to share with you some of my top picks along the Cote D’Azur, one of the most beautiful places in the world. In Cannes, I loved Gaston et Gastounette on the Croisette because they served the best scallops with truffles and moules mariniere (mussels in a tomato and garlic sauce) ever! And head to Astoux for fantastic escargot and Dover sole.
A must stop-sunset cocktails at the White Palm Hotel-the 360 degree view is breathtaking! But if you want to pick up the pace and eat & party, head to Baoli. Thank you to my friend, Gilles Marini for the Baoli hook-up! Enjoy good food (everything from sushi to risotto) until midnight when the space transforms into a bumping disco with rocking DJ’s and a drum player. You can even order a drink that comes in a huge glass vase complete with 15 straws! Hangover! For Daytime, the beach is always good-head to Baoli Beach to sunbathe and indulge in fun champagne cocktails or Miramar Beach to hear fun music and sip some rose. And of course, shopping is always in season in Cannes as the Croisette boasts everything from Valentino to Jean Paul Gaultier. Just don’t forget your wallet! We also drove to St. Tropez, but were sad to find out that the beaches were shut down due to the massive floods in Toulon, which is just down the road, otherwise St. Tropez is lots of fun with places to party like Nikki Beach and VIP Room.
Less commercial is the medieval village of Eze which is situated on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It is quite beautiful and is home to Bono and The Edge, so you can’t go wrong! Wander around the small, winding streets to take in the charm and be sure to go to the Colette Cafe for the spaghetti with garlic & peppers-so simple but so good!
The crown jewel of the Riviera is definitely the principality of Monaco. Can you say luxury! The scenery is gorgeous as Monte Carlo is literally built into the side of the cliff overlooking the Sea. You also have Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV restaurant as well as the famous casino on the top of the hill. Pricey yachts dot the harbor, and cruise ships come in and out everyday. The key is avoiding the tourists and going to places where the locals go. So we went to the Sass Cafe and had a fantastic rocket and prawn salad followed by spaghetti with clams. It is a fun vibe as the restaurant has live music and I heard one of the funniest renditions of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” ever-the singer had a thick French accent which made it so endearing! Definitely your one stop shop! For a more mellow but delicious dinner, go to Amici Miei in the harbor. This decor is something left to be desired (plastic chairs), but the food is AMAZING! I had a prawn and zucchini pasta in a red sauce that was too die for! And the service is traditional Italian-think Mama cooking in the kitchen.
As far as sightseeing goes, you can see the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace everyday starting at 11:45 AM (it lasts about 15 minutes) and you can journey to the Cathedral to see Princess Grace’s tomb.
What I loved about Monaco is that it is right next to the Italian border, so it is very easy to cross over which is what we did. We lunched in the tiny beach town of Bordighera at Ristorante L’Alice Felice, right on the turquoise water which be the way, has black sand and rocks. Absolutely gorgeous! The dishes to get here are the pesto pasta with green beans and the fried appetizer platter with calamari, clams, and prawns. The service was excellent as they had cold glasses of bubbly waiting for us before we even sat down. P.S. Great bruschetta as well. And thus, the conclusion of the Europe trip, until next time……Ci vediamo più tardi!