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La Flibuste Martin’s in Villeneuve-Loubet

Last lunch before the second COVID-19 quarantine in France. La flibuste is a Michelin star 2019 newcomer at the Villeneuve-Loubet’s marina « baie des anges » between Antibes and Nice. The restaurant is behind the considerable building looking like a boat from the sky. Consider to park the car at the Eric Tabarly boulevard parking or request for the car valet service since it is difficult to find a place from spring to winter.

Oysters at La Flibuste

The decor is as clean as a hair salon, music is acceptable. The service is professional, respectful and operated by the sons of the pleasant owner. The pillars of the cuisine escapade are french products and originate from local farms like ris-de-veau, foie gras, oysters and snails with a touch of modernity. The cheffe Eugénie Béziat suggest a-la-carte or surprise menu from three to six services. The surprise menu could include any suitable course from the a-la-carte list.

Red mullet at La Flibuste

The dinner start with a mackerel amuse-bouche to introduce two starters, two main courses and two desserts by Pascal Picasse. Compliment goes to the oyster from Tamaris bay cooked in two styles: grilled and tartare. The oyster belong to the fire theme among the three other like earth, air and water which drives the flibuste dining experience. It is near the ekstedt grilling style in a slight way. The superbly cooked red mullet in his carrot forest that recalls the autumn with well round textures, balance and a temperature under control is splendid.

Did you know?
The red mullet was also named the shoe mullet in ancient Rome half a century after Christ by Pliny the elder, an Italian gastronomy expert. He said the fish that tastes likes an oyster was the same color as the patricians shoes who were considered the high society at this time of history.

There is some competition to nominate the best red mullet either at la flibuste or at flaveur** in Nice. The dessert looks promising plus familiar. Indeed, Pascal comes from Le Park45, a one star Michelin restaurant now closed at grand hotel in Cannes. Honestly one of the best pastry chef operating in the french riviera. The apple dessert with aneth and coriander is beyond all praise with the right notes of acidity.

Apple at La Flibuste

La Flibuste Martin’s is a good lunch address worth the stop on the french riviera.

Address: 1001 Avenue de la Batterie, 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet
Telephone: +33 4 93 20 59 02
Website: https://www.restaurantlaflibuste.fr
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COVID-19, the Antibes take-away menu

The coronavirus is changing our habits. The restaurateurs are completely under the surprise effect by the government last minute announce to close doors. Some initiatives have emerge to save the business like books, bottles of wine and gift cards sales. The most effective way to minimize breakage is take-away or specialize into safe bet like comfort food as Noma’s burger and wine. Beside le figuier saint esprit who already offer a catering service, the restaurant l’Arazur was the first to launch a gastronomic menu to take away. Others are taking the bet of aperitif boxes until the May 11, 2020. Here is a compilation of good addresses in the Antibes old town.

Menu du p’tit cageot du Mardi 5 Mai 2020

Chez Fieu – Sandwich 7 Euros
Chez Jules – Pan Bagnat 8 Euros
Le bistrot de Bacchus – Pizza & pasta 14 Euros
P’tit cageot – Menu 25 Euros
Goood – Menu 25 Euros
Côté terroir – Menu 25 Euros
Le 44 – Menu 26 Euros
L’Arazur – 40 Euros à la carte
Le figuier de Saint-Esprit – Menu 45 Euros

Did you know?
Antibes is the third city in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur with the most Michelin stars after Marseille and Nice.


Merry Mary – Bio coffee and pastries
Nomads coffee shop – Specialty coffee
Torref de Fersen – Specialty coffee
Horizon des Thés – Tea
Cave flacons divins – Wine

Nomads – specialty coffee – flat white – 2 Mai 2020
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2019, a year in the plane

The many travels in Europe and South America has open doors to visit more than 40 Michelin stars and venues in the top ten 50Best not accounted by the bibendum institution in 2019.

January and February are synonyms of inactivity for restaurants and leisure for the personnel. March has start lovingly with a visit to Oslo in Norway notably at Kontrast and Maaemo. This is amusing to discover the same guests were dining at both places. Both restaurants are astonishing for the unique quality of food and hospitality which are always coupled in high standard venues in Scandinavia. The level of service demonstrated by the Maaemo team is formidable with a welcome in French 100 meters away from the restaurant and a guard of honor. Katla, operated by an Icelandic chef is a favorite for a casual moment in Oslo. On the bars side, svanen and the hidden himkok are first-class in the capital.

Maaemo, Oslo, Norway

The April destination is the gourmets european capital, Copenhagen in Denmark. The highlight was Noma and Geranium. The latter deliver world-class hospitality in the manner of Maaemo by being precise on the client needs. Noma has bring souvenirs for life with passionated gentlemen and ladies from all continents at the communal table. After a champagne cocktail under the veranda, the exclusive seasonal dishes stream like a salmon from a river to the sea. The experience finish with a visit to the kitchen and an explanation of operations.

Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sweden and Germany are the May program. Agrikultur in Stockholm was remarkable. The kitchen is composed of the best young talents in town. Like an incubator, the future of Stockholm scene is coming from this place then dispatched to other venue when it is time for an intelligent move. Tim Raue in Berlin serves eight snacks and waiters adopt a relaxed style with their Nike running shoes.

Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany

Back to Denmark in August especially for 108, Barr and Amass. The latter is built into an industrial decor. The service attention, the sustainable cuisine, the best mackerel and the wine pairing selection is very Danish. The visit to the garden at the end of the dinner with a glass of empirical spirit makes the experience unforgettable. Back to France, The iconic hôtel du cap Eden Roc restaurant has sent an invitation for a lunch and discuss about Antibes Insider.

Amass, Copenhagen, Denmark

Statera, Maido, Kjolle and Central are on the list for September. Peru is not in the Michelin radar but present in the 50Best list. It is a new experience for the palate as the fish, vegetables, meat and other products like the hundreds of potatoes cooked with special conditions due to the difference of altitude between the sea and the mountains. The wines from South America make the list for the pairing. The gastronomy scene is growing fast in Lima. It may become a food hub in South America in the next decade.

Central, Lima, Peru

In October, it is worth a visit in Amsterdam to dine at Spectrum in the Waldorf Astoria hotel and &Moshik. Both chefs are creative. Every course are tasty, savory and dress originally. Special mention to Sidney Schutte at Spectrum for the trompe l’oeil and the salty, sugary chocolates that end the experience by reintroduce all courses in a few last bites.
The year’s travel close with visits to contemporary cooking like Gastrologik and its Sweden farms products, Ekstedt fire pit and Sushi Sho omakase style in Sweden. It is terminus for now or continue the read with the innovative cuisine in Sweden article.

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Humans

Cannes Forville market with Michelin star chef Christian Morisset

It is 7.30am. Let’s drive with Christian Morisset to Cannes Forville market. He is the owner and chef of le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, a renowned Michelin star restaurant in Antibes. The half a day plan is to drink coffee, talk with farmers, buy products at the market for the restaurant, visit the boucherie agricole and end with the chef’s personal shopping at the market bio grocery.

Being the winner of the contest “A market tour with our chef” by Le Figuier Saint-Esprit, let’s start with a story rich of emotions with Christian Morisset and humans of the Forville market in Cannes.

We meet at the corner of Boulevard Wilson to drive with the car full of crates. It is Sunday and the road on the sea side is as calm as a cold stove until Forville market in Cannes. It is the best market according to chef Morisset in the Antibes area in term of price and quality of the products. La Cannoise is the first place to meet Christian’s friends before going under the market roof. They are farmers and talk about Nice-Matin gossips and how the farmer work may be run under better conditions in France. After a coffee and a croissant, we move to the market.

Greetings is a good way to start the trip in the center of the market by saying hello to the farmer and taste vegetables from his garden. Next is short stop to the mushrooms stable to take some and move to another vegetables stand. Like in Antibes provencal market, the real farmers are in the middle of the market and the ones on the borders are resellers. After some stroll around, the restaurant money envelope slim fast. The cheese producer offer a tasting session and we visit the flower shop for the chef’s wife gift. He really is a lover. We then move to the fruits stable to get the remaining crates full of figs. Christian is a rock star and a guest since ages to all that we complete the tour after three hours or so. The time is flying.

Next is a tour at la boucherie agricole. They are well-known in the area to provide the best meat pieces. Meanwhile the chef is talking with the front of house, the visit of the butchery start. From cold chain course to meat chop tables, the guide provides a nice overview of how a butchery works before the exposition of the meats to customers. Thanks to boucherie agricole staff. Finally, we move to the bio market to get some ingredients for the chef to cook at home. He has admit his favorite meal is a cheese plate and a good glass of wine.

There is a tomato party at le Figuier Saint Esprit

On the way back to Antibes it was time to talk about the food industry, difficulties the chefs face in the french riviera, his journey from cooking as a child to become a successful chef. His last advice for the apprentices is that work hard will pay a day.

Visit the Figuier Saint-Esprit website to discover the chef’s cuisine.

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Innovative cuisine in Stockholm

It has been since October the suitcase idle in the entrance. Waiting for a new trip after the visit of the best South of America restaurants including Central, Kjolle, Maido, Mayta and Statera in Lima, Peru. Linda is a Swedish foodie met last year at Oaxen and will join for a dinner at Gastrologik. This restaurant has awake my keen interest in hospitality industry for a living.

Besides the food experience, the main reason of my visit was to participate to the Stockholm Santa Run. A charity event for children with function disabilities. After the three kilometers race, it is relax time and time for sauna. Swedes call it bastu when the execution follow the state of the art: back and forth between sweating naked in the hot sauna and the frozen lake water. It is an interesting experience to feel like a local but let’s back to restaurants for a review of the top3 restaurants during this week.

Ekstedt

Ekstedt chef’s table

There is no electric griddle or gas stove at Ekstedt. Only the natural heat of fire help the chefs to cook. The large menu is six courses with lobster, cabbage, scallop, turbot and reindeer. Tasting and feeling the smoke and the wood fired cooking difference on the ingredients is an exclusive experience in the world. For the more traditionalists, Kvarnhagen cheese with Gotland truffles and caramelized shallots and a glass of white wine is an ideal choice to end the dinner. The service is lovely and attentive which contrast and make the wait time between courses forgettable. Notably, there is a kitchen tour at the beginning of the dinner to let guests understand what is under the hood and think about the cooking techniques and tools. A refreshing approach of the kitchen tour.

Sushi Sho

Smoked egg yolk and tuna

It is the most Japanese restaurant of Sweden following the edomae style. All the guests must arrive at the same time in the restaurant as everyone in the restaurant start to dine together. Carl, the sushi head chef follow the traditional omakase. The guests listen, observe and eat while the chef is cooking in front of all. Otoro is the most noble part of a tuna and every guest will have the choice between sashimi, nigiri or tartare with caviar topping for the service. To accompany the fish, the Sake pairing is a must. Again, Sushi import import exclusive fermented sake with an acid note and white color. Another foodie sitting next to me frequently goes to Japan, know tips to bring back sake bottles in a safe way to the most beautiful country in the world and Sushi Sho is its favorite place in Stockholm.

Gastrologik

Ålesund langoustine, seaweed pancake and kohlrabi

This is the second visit at Gastrologik but the first with the two stars reward. There is still a menu of twenty snacks that change every day based on the ingredients availability and quality with a focus on the season. Previously, there was only sea and earth products from Sweden. It seems there is a change in the strategy. The borders has expand to Norway and Iceland for fish and sea urchin. The flavors, textures and freshness are exploding in mouth. It is now more refined and every bite has its own personality. Still, they are successful to keep an overall balance for the whole experience. Mastering the juice pairing is an art. Indeed, it lack some punch compared to Alouette’s pairing and could be improved as well as the service since Hanna W departure from the restaurant general manager position.

Other must-visit experiences this week

  • Vete-Katten for pastry and coffee
  • Snö for ice cream
  • Christmas buffet at Den Gyldene Freden
  • Reindeer meat at Marten Trotzig
  • Burger at Bun Meat Bun
  • The French Connection meetup at Kaferang

Ok but drinks?

Read the Bartender’s Choice Awards 2019 article. A great human story is coming.