Category Archives: Dining and Wine

Bon Manger

When dining out context plays such an important role that it’s sometimes difficult to focus solely on the meal. This is why I’m ambivalent when it comes to eating at 3 starred restaurants.

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It’s very difficult to focus on the food when there’s a complex dog and pony show going on around you.

I have rarely left a 3 starred establishment talking about the food, rather, I tend say things like “Did you count how many people were serving us?” or “My water glass never got below half-full!”

Dine at a 3 starred restaurant and you will no doubt walk away dazzled, but given the choice I’ll spend my hard-earned Euros at a good old mom and pop establishment anytime. Continue reading

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L’Armoise, Champagne, and The New York Times

I received a handful of Emails on Sunday, each with a link to a New York Times article entitled “A French Riviera Gastrocrawl” by Alexander Lobrano.

In the piece Mr. Lobrano reviews four noteworthy restaurants along the Cote D’Azur (two in Nice, one in Cagnes sur Mer, and one in Antibes).

L’Armoise, his choice in old Antibes, has been at the top of my “to-do” list for some time, thanks in no small part to a beautiful blond Norwegian friend, Maren, a wonderful singer who lives in a stunning house in the old town.  She has been raving about L’Armoise and Chef Laurent Parrinello for years and insists that I make it my first stop during my next visit to Antibes.

So I had to smile when I read the last line of Mr. Lobrano’s article:

“Over dessert, we ended up falling into conversation with a beautiful blond Norwegian singer and drinking Champagne well into the night — a classic Riviera coda to the storied coastline’s terrific new cooking.”

The beautiful blond Norwegian singer, it seems, does indeed have good taste in restaurants.

The New York Times agrees.

L’Armoise
2, rue de la Tourraque, Vieil-Antibes
(33-4) 92-94-96-13
Prix-fixe menus 40, 45 and 70 euros
Closed Monday.

Maren’s 5 bedroom home, Casa Mare, is located on a charming, pedestrian-only street in old Antibes.  Available for weekly rentals year-round.  For more information click here

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Une Etoile!

Never let it be said that Le Stuff fails to steer serious foodies to the proper table.

A favorite restaurant, about which I previously posted here and here, has received a Michelin Star.  

L’Hostellerie du Chateau, located in the small, absurdly picturesque village of Le Bar sur Loup, has hit the big time.

It is long overdue.

For those not familiar with the Michelin Star, let me give you a quick heads-up.

It’s a big deal, a really big deal, especially in France where top chefs can attain rock-star status.

So félicitations L’Hostellerie du Chateau!

I always knew you had it in you.

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The Classic Goodness of Socca

A simple, yet sublime specialty of Nice, socca (pronounced so-ka) is way up on my “really good stuff to eat” list.

Think chickpea, flour, and olive oil cooked in a flat iron pan to just this side of brown.

Add black pepper and devour.

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JP’s Wine Corner: Cheese Assortment, Cucumber Soup, and Beef Tender

My good friend Jean Pascal is a Sommelier/Consultant who runs a successful business in the south of France specializing in the wines of Provence and the Cote D’Azur.  He has forgotten more about ClaretPinot Noir, and Cabernet than I will ever learn in my lifetime, but has graciously agreed to let me take full advantage of his expertise here at Le Stuff.

JP will be joining us on The French Riviera in June for the Mini Cooper Driving Adventure!

My mother called the other day with a simple request.  She was planning a dinner party for several friends and needed help with the wine selection.

Our conversation was quick and to the point:

Mother: “If I email the menu to you can you help me pick out some wines?”
Me: “I’m sorry, did you say you were going to email the menu to me…. on the
c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r?!!”

Mother: “Yes honey.”
Me: Who the hell are you and what have you done with my mother?”

The Menu: Continue reading

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Jean Pascal’s Wine Corner: Grilled Fish, Vegetables, and Fingerling Potatoes

My good friend Jean Pascal is a Sommelier/Consultant who runs a successful business in the south of France specializing in the wines of Provence and the Cote D’Azur.  He has forgotten more about Claret, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet than I will ever learn in my lifetime, but has graciously agreed to let me take full advantage of his expertise here at Le Stuff.

Need some wine advice?

Leave your questions for Jean Pascal in the comments section….

Jean Pascal subscribes to Le Stuff…. why don’t you?
It’s easy, just click here.

JP will be joining us on The French Riviera in June for the Mini Cooper Driving Adventure!

Today’s question comes from Noel:
Any suggestions for a meal of grilled white fish (Halibut) with lightly sauteed vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes? A light dry Rose perhaps? Thanks again for your help.
Hi Noel,

 For your grilled Halibut with lightly sauteed vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes, your choice of a light dry rosé is not bad at all. The important things to watch for are

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Jean Pascal’s Wine Corner: Hamburger and Fries

My good friend Jean Pascal is a highly skilled Sommelier/Consultant who runs a successful business in the south of France specializing in the wines of Provence and the Cote D’Azur.  He has forgotten more about ClaretPinot Noir, and Cabernet than I will ever learn in my lifetime, but has graciously agreed to let me take full advantage of his expertise here at Le Stuff.

Need some wine advice?

Leave your questions for Jean Pascal in the comments section….

Jean Pascal subscribes to Le Stuff…. why don’t you?
It’s easy, just click here.

The Meal:
Hamburger (medium rare) with french fries.

Jean Pascal’s Selection(s):

Red :
Château Plaisance 2008.  A.O.C. Fronton.
8 Euros.

Grape varieties:
Negrette (local grape variety), Syrah, Cabernet-Franc.  Located in the Tarn region in South-west of France.

J.P. says:
A deep red color, genuine, very well-balanced with some Continue reading

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