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Roquebrune

, Monte Carlo, Monaco

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This restaurant has now closed. The notes below are of historical nterest only.

A ten minute taxi ride (about 110 FF) from the centre of Monte Carlo. In general you should treat any restaurant with nice views as if there is a 20-foot high warning sign outside saying “Nice view, so food probably dismal”. I dropped my guard on this one, and it turned out to be a stinker. There was indeed a stunning view over the bay from the dining room, which was set on the coast road high above the water. Moreover, the small room was pleasantly decorated, with attractive cushions breaking up the mainly white room. The “waiters” wore dinner jackets but any resemblance to the real thing ends there. The menu was in English (worrying enough) and there was not a French accent in the place. There were some good raw radishes on the table to nibble, as well as some very indifferent olives. Bread was a choice of stale white and brown that had been toasted, presumably since it was too stale to even contemplate serving otherwise (the scene in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, where Bette Davis serves up some toasted stale bread to Steve Martin, sprang evocatively to mind).

A salad Nicoise managed to have virtually no tuna whatsoever, but was edible (11/20). I had some spaghetti, which was rather too firm in texture, and had some fairly tasteless tomato sauce; it must take determination to find tasteless tomatoes in France in the summer, but the kitchen here searched hard and succeeded. Sea bass was cooked in a block of salt, and was cooked just about adequately, but served with ratatouille featuring more tasteless tomatoes and overly stewed aubergines (inedible), and roast new potatoes. Just in case I am sounding a bit harsh, the sea bass was £59 for two. There was a limited wine list, but there was a decent Pinot Gris from Trimbach at £45. Naturally enough, neither wine nor water were topped up, each time requiring attention-grabbing techniques for waiters whose epitaph will read “God finally caught their eye”. We cut our losses after the main course. The bill was still, and I hope you are sitting comfortably, over £100 a head for two courses, some water, one glass of champagne and a £45 bottle of wine.

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  • Mikael

    This restaurant is now closed and has been turned into a B&B. Before it closed it did indeed serve appalling food that did not merit a star rating although surprisingly it had quite a few local admirers.

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