On-line Guide: Bistrot du Port, Nice
The Bistrot's du Port’s €16 lunch menu is like a drug. Once you've sampled their discount prix fixe, which includes wine, coffee, a starter (like squid couscous) and a seafood main (perhaps Provençal bream), you're hooked like the fish they specialise in.
It’s no coincidence that the establishment’s portside location overlooks Nice’s working fishing fleet. Wild sea bass and rock-caught octopus are purchased directly by restaurateur José Orsini.
Chef Orsini learnt his trade alongside Alain Ducasse, the crown prince of Mediterranean seafood. It shows. Dinner mains include giant turbot baked au sel, and local fish gunard sauteéd then presented whole. Seasonality is central ingredient. Orsini will serve starters as simple as truffles shaved over scrambled eggs, if a worthy stock has been found. Or desserts as low-key as strawberries and cream, if he has a trusted source. He has even been known to deliver dishes to superyachts tied up at the quay across the street.
The wine of choice (for a shade over €20) is Château de Berne. It’s served in square bottles so pretty you’ll want to upcycle them as lampstands.
28 quai Lunel, +33 4 93 55 21 70