Walking through Nice Old Town trying to decide on where to eat is extremely difficult. There is a draw to every restaurant, as the sun touches on everything and people sit at tables on terraces drinking their rosé, with bustling crowds, and music at every turn. During this hour of sundowners and early evening, restaurant owners do not have to do much to draw patrons. This is what make it difficut to pick a place that will deliver on the promise presented by the general exterior. You can also resort to the Tripadvisor recommendation as a start, or make like like we did – eavesdrop. Which is how we came to make dinner reservations at Le Tire-Bouchon one night.
We simply overheard a rave review from someone leaving, and decided: Why not? Although the food was good, it was not as exceptional as we’d anticipated. The service was friendly and efficient; the ambience set by the alley (the main seating was in on the many alleys to be found in Old Town), lighting and soft sounds of music, laughter of patrons, and that general good mood to be found in the Nice as the sun sets and people clink their glasses toasting to the hot summer days and delightful balmy evenings.
Olive tapenade with bread as we waited for our starters of home made foie gras with espelette pepper and cherry tomato tart. The tart was served with a sizeable side salad and simple yet delightful, the foie gras left just a hint of the espelette on the tongue – not a burning taste, but a sharper warmer taste. It was an interesting combination with the foie gras.
Tiger prawns with coriander and ginger followed; a beef filet served on a bed of chirolle mushrooms – which was good, not great and the lamb in a rich gravy – which like the filet was not exceptional. The starter and prawn dish turned out to be the orders of the evening. It was the ambience of the whole place that probably saved the evening.
Le Tire Bouchon, 19 rue de la Prefecture, 06000 Nice. Tel: +33 4 94 92 63 64