On-line Guide: Lou Pastrouil, Nice
A decade ago Lou Pastrouil was a decrepit tabac selling pressions and gambling chits - albeit in a fabulous Old Town location. The same spot, with the same name, has been re-energised as a fabulous hybrid of café-bar-restaurant.
Like its older incarnation, Lou Pastrouil serves black coffees at 9am to lawyers working at the Palais du Justice courtroom across the street. By lunchtime waiters are distributing two-course lunches for €15 - perhaps a pairing of burrata and tomatoes followed by grilled salmon, or a chef's salad alongside a house lasagne. A gourmet burger menu (all around €10) offers further value. Think cheddar cheese burger, or a vegetarian option with mozzarella and home-made mayonnaise.
Dreamers, dilettantes and lounge lizards of all description breeze in for the 7pm happy hour. Côtes de Provence reds, whites and rosés are decanted for €3 a glass; Prosecco 50c more. Sharing platters of Corsican charcuterie and cheese from top local store Fromager Lou Froumai (both €12) counter the booze. As such times the slightly dodgy clientele recalls the table gamblers and storytellers of the Lou Pastrouil of old. The terrace remains alive until 11pm, when window blinds are pulled and outdoor bistro chairs are culled, before the daily coffee grinder starts again.
12 rue du Marché