Formerly a Tunisian restaurant, the new Gourmet Bistro in town is Flaveur. It has already received rave reviews from the Nice Matin and L’Hotellerie Restauration. With just 30 covers for lunch and dinner, it’s already the place to reserve in advance. I’m not quite sure why I’m sharing this gem with you all, but I just can’t help shouting about it.
Not only is there great food on offer, there’s a great spirit and young energy from the three friends who run it. Out front is Xavier Richard, 26, who learnt his trade from Jean-Marc Delecourt, Kei Matsushima and Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur). He tells me their mission is to provide fine dining in a fun way where guests receive “spiritual and tummy enjoyment” of new takes on French classics.
All the dishes of the day are inspired by what was at the market that morning and you can expect to see classic French cuisine but with rather obscure leanings towards further a field, especially with spices. The two chefs are brothers who have traveled a lot and love to spontaneously merge exotic flavours with more traditional French fare. Its always a successful marriage of contemporary international cuisine with grandma knows best French staples. As well as saucy twists on all manner of fish dishes, you can expect Pork loin with spinach with an unusual sauce, roast duck and lemon with a far eastern twist.
Gaël Tourteaux (31 years) and Mickaël Tourteaux (27 years) have both served their time with Alain Llorca in Chantecler and latterly Keisuke Matsushima, so fine dining French cuisine has been the bulk of their official training. Feeling it was time to put their own stamp on the French Riviera, they took the brave move in this economic climate to set up on their own. After 4 months of planning, the doors opened in November and there has been no looking back.
The décor is refreshingly fun, yet contemporary. Whilst crisp, it is also not cold - a warm ambience is achieved through wooden abstract images of fish, calamari and sea creatures, and contrasting steel bars representing seaweed. I like to think the wicker bowls high on the ceiling are the bobbing boats on the horizon above. But perhaps that’s a glass too many on my part.
If you have someone to impress on a lunch date, then this is the ideal bistro. The service is friendly, attentive, the ambience warm and unobtrusive. Xavier is at hand to talk you thorough the menu and as well as French, English and German, even some Japanese is spoken. Most importantly of course, the food is fantastic for the price – the lunch menu is a mere 15 euros for the “plat de moment”, a glass of wine and a coffee. Its 23 euros if you want to add an entrée to this list. Desserts are extra at around 6 euros.
Dinner service is more on the fine dining side – without the stuffy suits. The menu steps up a few gears from what is on offer at lunch. If you prefer a la carte there are three options for entrée, main and dessert but I’d guess most diners opt for one of the two set menus on offer: the Menu Flaveur at 30 euros (add 5 euros if you want a cheese course) or the Menu Decouverte at 50 euros which consists of an entrée, fish course, meat course, cheese and dessert. With each of these set menus comes a wine suggestion.
The wine list is well thought out – though the three don’t take all the credit. They let me into a secret: they took some advice from Serge Jaczynsky. You have to hand it to them, they have their own ways of doing things, but they have trained with, and are willing to take advice from, the masters. That can never be a bad thing. And great for the firm following they are building up. No doubt the next generation of restauranteurs will eventually learn from them.
25 rue Gubernatis
Tél. : 04.93.62.53.95