Taverna di Pulcinella

April 2, 2008

La Taverna di Pulcinella; 16 rue Maréchal Joffre; 04 93 88 4874; Closed Sunday and Dinner Monday  

(March, 2008).  Our second visit, with a friend who coincidentally discovered that he and the owner are neighbors, gave us another opportunity to test the kitchen.

The waitress showed us a fresh loup that she said would serve three people, so we decided to go with that.Because it took quite a while to bake, they gave us another round of their amuse bouche, this time a double.

The fish came out plated and filleted, served with oven-browned potatoes. It was perfectly but simply cooked, allowing the flavors of the fish itself to star.

(January 10, 2008) Strolling past the shops on Maréchal Joffre in Nice, we passed this small restaurant and stopped to talk to a vibrant, young lady who was setting up a few small tables on the sidewalk.

The restaurant, we learned, had recently opened.It was certainly new to us.The menu was appealing so with high hopes, three days later, we wandered over for dinner.

To start, we shared swordfish wrapped around shrimp in a rich, brown sauce flavored with coriander (18€); a dish which was inventive, subtle and quite tasty.

The daily fish special turned out to Gary’s delight to be linguine served with half a lobster (22€).Varian’s fritture mixte (20€) may be the lightest ever.

In many restaurants, the pieces are too heavily bread-crumbed. Not here. Furthermore, the selection of fish was broad and the portions generous.

Two of the shellfish had to be five or six inches long, and then there were several quite large shrimp, some beautifully cooked calamari, and a moist piece of a white fish.

The staff was friendly as were the clientele.

One of the women in the front (perhaps one of the owners) is from Napoli and maybe her husband is the creative guy in the kitchen. In any event, we now have a good, local Italian place without the drive to Italy.

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