Enough of crowds, enough of bling – we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
I don’t think Joni Mitchell was thinking of Cannes when she wrote those words (the last nine above, I mean). Frankly, I don’t think that the great US songstress has ever thought of Cannes much at all. But, what the hell, they kind of fit this restaurant. (‘Jardin’ means ‘garden’ in case you came in late to French lessons.)
And, while it’s maybe risking bathos to compare an eatery to Woodstock nation, well, one does what one can in this day and age. At the very least, the food’s a damned sight better here than it ever was at any rock festival.
And the place does indeed offer an oasis of calm, a little private world, some way back from the hurly-burly of the sea-front and main shopping streets. In truth, it’s a bit like popping in to see distant friends in their home, except that you’ll be paying.
You may sit amid the shrubs and flowers in the garden, in the glassed-in veranda or among the Provençal tiling and colours of the house. The garden’s best, if the weather’s clement, simply because eating in gardens always is best. It somehow gives an added dimension to dishes like roast John Dory, lamb shank with creamed polenta and truffles, and cod with thyme.
There’s nothing pretentious about Côté Jardin. It’s simply peaceful, very tasty and happy. You may come out of it humming gently. (“We are stardust, we are golden …” and so on and so forth.)