Café de la Fontaine – La Turbie

May 22, 2006

It has been fashionable in France for the last ten years for chefs with two or three Michelin stars to open a bistro on the side so as to be able offer lower prices while those in their starred restaurants soared.  But these were not really geared for the general public; they were more for the same clientèle who were looking for a somewhat less extravagant meal that day.  This is not at all the chef_bruno_cirino.jpgcase with the Café de la Fontaine which Bruno Cirino has opened in the center of La Turbie near his two-starred Hostellerie Jérôme.  It is really a café, not a bistro, and the customers are mostly the regular folk of the village.   There is no menu and no wine list.  The slate hung on the wall lists a few starters at €5, a few main courses at €12 and desserts at €5.  The waiter can suggest a bottle of wine according to what one orders, but most order pitchers of the house wine.  The four of us who went the evening of May 20, 2006, started with the green gnocchi filled with ground meat and served with a light tomato sauce.  They were excellent.  Then two had the colinot, a slice of good fish, and two had a perfect pink slice of leg of lamb with gratinéed potatoes.  It being strawberry season, we finished with one strawberry tart, two strawberry puddings and the dark chocolate tart for the chocolomaniac in the group.  We had a very pleasant bottle of red Sancerre. 

In one exception to the traditional “café de la place” atmosphere, there are noticeable no smoking signs, which were obeyed.  On the other hand as the evening progressed, the tables were filled with animated people having a good time and the noise became very high.  The service was friendly, but a bit slow at the end.   MR

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