Le Cagnard

Hautes de Cagnes, Cagnes Sur Mer, France

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Editor's note. The premises has changed hands since my review, so the notes below should be treated with caution. 

Le Cagnard is set in a beautiful 14th Century building perched on a hillside overlooking Nice, a 15-minute cab ride from Nice airport, in the middle of a very well preserved mediaeval village. If you are driving in your own car, be aware that the streets are extremely narrow, and judging by the various marks on the very solid stone walls of the town, a number of drivers take the corners too quickly. The dining room is in two parts, the main room with a view overlooking a little terrace on which you can eat in the summer. Service was very friendly and relaxed. Warm slivers of foie gras were excellent (18/20), a difficult dish to do well, and here it was very well done indeed. A risotto of langoustines had pleasantly cooked langoustines but a rather runny risotto (16/20).

The cheese board was extensive, with a fairly conventional selection in generally good condition, though an Epoisses was distinctly unripe (17/20). A lemon soufflé was cooked a little too heavily and so had started to hint at lumpiness, while the outside was just a little too stiff (14/20). Better was an excellent, simply cooked sea bass that I sampled (18/20), while at lunch the following day there was an excellent salad of langoustines. Culinary trends have reached even here, with a variety of exotic flavours in the salad that worked well enough but were in total too many to be harmonious (17/20, but would have been 18/20 if they had just left some of the salad elements out). A poulet Bresse was better, cooked to a lovely brown colour and carved tableside, served with a simple gravy of the cooking juices and some root vegetables; as usual, less is more (18/20). A wine list featured plenty of choice from Provence and Bandol, and a wide selection of Burgundies.

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