Shhh, Paris…I cheated on you just a little! I’m sorry to say that I am also kinda in love with Nice. She (has to be a she) is just so beautiful, and colorful, and happy. I was happy to be there again, thanks to a good friend who hooked me up with someone who rented me a fabulous apartment, in a perfect location in the Old Town. It was on the first (FRENCH) floor, up a scary-steep set of ancient stone steps.
But worth the exercise.
We explored the city with all of our senses, as Nice demands.
Of course the first visit was to the beach. Nice’s beach is made up of stones, which takes some getting used to . But the Mediterranean is so gorgeous, you can’t help but follow your nose to the sea.
We also walked to the port. Run, don’t walk, past the ostentatious yachts and toys of the rich and wanna be famous, to the other side, where these sweeeet fishing boats live. Gimme this any day. So colorful, so beautiful, so Nice.
And of course we indulged in the marvelous, indescribable Nicoise cuisine.
If you find yourself in Nice, run, don’t walk, to the fish market at Place Francois. Find the “fish lady” and order the Pissala. Anchovy paste on steroids. She seems mean but is a softie underneath. Word.
And, you must try all of the other Nicoise specialties. Socca, that seemingly boring simple chickpea flour crepe thing that you can only get in Nice. Go to Chez Pipo! Or if you are in the thick of the Old Town and are hungry (Like us)and Lou Pilha Leva is insanely crowded (it was), Bella Socca actually does a great platter of Socca, tapanade, fresh anchovies and farci, that other Nicoise specialty (think stuffed mushrooms, but also other veggies). SO good washed down with that only found in Nice wine, a delicious Bellet rose, on a rickety table crammed under the roof to escape the one shower we encountered in Nice. All that memory for 18 e.
We also had a beautiful plat de mer at the charmingly ancient Cafe de Turin, full of salty oysters and fresh head on shrimp. and some sea snails, delightful with a crisp not sweet muscat .
And not to overlook the land, we also had an enjoyable evening at at restaurant serving, as my companion likes to say, loudly, MEAT! La Rossettisserie seems like your total tourist trap in the old town, but it has remarkably good food for an incredible low price. We had tender grilled lamb, a super wine in a beautiful old cellar. Just a perfect evening.
We also really enjoyed our first meal at Le Comptoir du Marché, another non-touristy place in the Old Town. So fresh, so simple yet so delicious. The perfect welcome “home:..
And last but certainly not least. we had a fabulously perfect light dinner of tapas at Tote et Mamie Charlotte, a sweet cafe in a sweet spot right off the Place Rossetti, owned by some really sweet women. Just perfect people watching on a balmy Nice evening. Sigh.
After all that eating, we so enjoyed hiking high above the Old Town. It was a perfect temperature, a cool breeze and all that glorious sunshine.
And yet the beach called us back, every night.
Nice, we know that we will be back.You, too, enter the soul and don’t let go.