L’Aromate, Nice 2
April 6, 2008
Seeing Gary and Varian’s enthusiastic blogpost a few days ago on this new restaurant, Linda and I decided to dine at L’Aromate on April 5, 2008. We were the first to arrive, but eventually the larger dining room filled up on this Saturday evening. Nonetheless, the service by the one charming waitress moved along at a good pace.
I ordered the 70 € menu, which entitled me to four starters while Linda’s 50 € menu only included two. We ordered a bottle of an old friend, the 2001 Chateau Vignelaure red from near Aix-en-Provence. It was a nice surprise to find a bottle with some age on it in a restaurant open for only three months.
Our first course was Le tourteau dans une gelée au gingembre, crème acidulée, emulsion de fenouil. This course, which arrived under a transparent cube, made me think we would have a molecular meal like the one at nearby Aphrodite, but the cuisine became, if not not classic, less space age. Anyway, we enjoyed the pieces of crab hidden under the ginger jelly, thick cream and fennel-flavored foam.
My second starter was L’oeuf fermier à la coque, crème de topinambour, mouillette de pain doré. Two soft-boiled eggs had been mixed with a mash of Jerusalem artichokes which helped bring out the farm fresh flavor of the eggs. The fresh bread crisp added the necessary contrasting texture.
Next for both of us was Le petit pois; fin velouté, étuvée de petits pois à la française, emulsion à l’oignon des Cévennes. A thick, smooth pea soup was topped with an onion flavored cream and a crisp round biscuit. Nice.
My final starter was La pomme de terre charlotte ; la fine tarte, oignons des Cévennes – lard fumé, persil plat. The green drops are potatoes and parsley pureed together. Underneath there is a crisp puff pastry round and some smoked bacon. This pretty dish was okay, but not up to the other starters and somewhat redundant as the same purée appeared in the next course with some garlic added.
For our main course we both had Le boeuf Charolais en piccaza, pané noisette-poivre-fleur de sel, mousseline de monalisa légèrment ailée ; chips de pommes de terre en impression persil plat. This was like a classic steak au poivre with 60% of the crushed peppercorns replaced with crushed hazelnuts and 20% with coarse sea salt. The inside of the excellent piece of beef was still red while the outside was crisp. (Monalisas are a variation on Bintjes, the most grown all-around potato in France.) We had no idea how the chef enclosed the parsley leaves in the thin transparent potato chips.
For dessert we both had Les pommes en feuillet, crème glacée mascarpone. This dessert was superb. Warm caramel sauce was poured over the cooked apple slices on top of mascarpone ice cream between two thin pastry slices.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire meal. The cooking techniques are modern, inventive and well thought out without going too far. The ingredients were of high quality. The service was cheerful and efficient. The setting is basic, but satisfactory. We look forward to returning to try new menus, which we understand change every month.
- 20, avenue Maréchal Foch
- 06000 Nice
- Téléphone : 04 93 62 98 24
- Open Tuesday through Saturday
- Small menu at lunch