Maybe we were unwittingly influenced by the theme of the carnival ‘King of Gastronomy’, or maybe it is just what we love to do, but as mentioned earlier; our stay in Nice turned out to be quite the culinary one. Wherever we are, we tend to put quite some effort in trying new types of food and restaurants. Nice and its vicinity have a large offer when it comes to restaurants, a great variety of cuisines in all price ranges. We made it our mission to find some of the best food in the most affordable places and promised ourselves one splurge meal. This week you'll get a day-by-day report on the restaurants where we had dinner.

Taking this mission very serious I began browsing the web for restaurant tips. I came across a recommendation that was written by Alain Ducasse, who is a Michelin chef himself, but took the time to review restaurants at the Cote d’Azur in a wider (price) range (as La Merenda turned out to be quite affordable). After two weeks of soup, pasta and beans (the much needed carbohydrates during snowboarding) I got some cravings for a dish that had real meat in it, so reading about a place famous for their beef stew was decisive.

After a fifteen-minute walk we easily found La Merenda in one of the streets behind Place Masséna. The restaurant was a little cramped due to the fact that it can only seat twenty diners at a time, but luckily there was still a table for us. We immediately got a large chalkboard handed out, which functioned as the one and only menu. Despite the fact the restaurant was full, the waiter did take the time to explain the dishes in English.

We started with a mini pizza – which was a simple, yet delicious Margarita in just the right size for an appetizer – and ‘Coppa’, some of the best I’ve tasted so far. For the main course I ordered the beef stew, which was even better than I expected it to be. Next to this we had ‘Andouillette’, a type of sausage that’s rarely seen outside of France, which triggered us to try it. I tasted it before actually knowing what it’s made of (the main ingredients are pork and intestines), and though it’s totally not my thing – emphasizing the fact that intestines just don’t do it for me – it was pretty tasteful, especially with the French mustard. We ended this meal with a homemade chocolate mousse and stewed pears, definitely a great combination if you ask me! We had a rosé wine from the Provence that complemented every course perfectly.

Address: 4, Rue Raoul Bosio – 06300, Nice
Contact information: www.lamerenda.net

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