L'Aromate

Price guide: Mid-range

20 Avenue Maréchal Foch, Nice, 06000

Price guide: Mid-range

L'Aromate

By Anthony Peregrine, your Nice expert

I write for The Daily Telegraph, The .... Read more
#9 of 20
expert-rated restaurants in Nice
Expert overall rating:4.3 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.4
4.4
Ambience:
4.2
4.2
Service:
4
4.0
Location:
4.1
4.1
Value for money:
4.3
4.3
Recommended for:
Foodies, Relaxation, Romance, Special occasions

Expert review of L'Aromate

Small is beautiful: the sweet (and savoury) smell of success.

L’Aromate has been called “the finest little table in Nice” and I see no reason to disagree. The place serves wit, warmth and wonderful culinary invention to those lucky enough to get a seat. This was recognised by a first Michelin star in the 2010 edition of the red guide. So seats are now rarer still.

Mickaël Gracieux has done time with the best in France (Ducasse, Robuchon and that sort of stellar figure from the world of cuisine). He’s brought what he learned, stirred in a ladleful of imagination and come up with a contemporary style which is all his own.

See-through crisp

I know of few better beef dishes than his Charolais crusted with peppercorns and hazelnuts, served with parsley-flavoured mashed potato and a sort of transparent crisp with a parsley leaf inside. (Heaven knows how he does that.)

It treads exactly the fine line between interest and substance. And the setting’s pretty cool, too. In what was once a peanut works, there are just two small rooms. One opens onto the kitchen, so you can see what Gracieux is up to. Both have shiny black ceilings and an abundance of green on the walls and, indeed, on the tables. It sounds odd, but isn’t at all.
 

Food and drink: 

No doubt about it, you’re in the presence of a young man who doesn’t just want to feed you; he wants to engage your attention. And dishes like soft-boiled eggs with a mash of Jerusalem artichokes do just that. As does the crab in a ginger and crab gélée, with cream and curried fennel foam, all served in an open clam shell.

These – and the beef, of course – may yet become modern classics. The same could be said for the restaurant itself. At lunchtime, l’Aromate does slightly simpler dishes, including risottos, on cheaper menus.

Whether lunching or dining, consider the Château Vignelaure wines on the list. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
 

Ambience: 

French people attracted to a Michelin-starred restaurant can be a little serious – about both their food and themselves – until they remember they’re meant to be having a good time. Then things loosen up. That’s pretty much how it is here, though I advise you (and the French) to loosen up from the word go. It saves a lot of time.

Service: 

Attentive and pleasant.

Location: 

In a quiet street a few blocks out of the centre.

Price advice: 

Lunch can be had at around 17.10 euros for one course, or from 26.20 euros for a three-course menu. Dinner menus are 51.30 euros and 73 euros. The cheaper option has two starters, the more expensive one four. Even though portion sizes are not enormous, four starters still makes for a sizeable meal.

More information on L'Aromate:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Restaurant
Food:
French, Mediterranean, Modern
Address:
20 Avenue Maréchal Foch, Nice, 06000
Telephone:
04 93 62 98 24
Website:
http://www.laromate.fr
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
1-2.30pm, 7.30-10.30pm. Shut Sunday all day, and Monday evening.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Essential at peak times

Have you been to L'Aromate? Would you recommended it?