L’Ecurie de la marquise in Grimaud will definitely warm the cockles of the heart for any homesick Niçois(e), a real home away from home!
The medieval village of Grimaud may be more than an hour away from Nice, but step into the dining room of the Ecurie de la marquise and you’ll think that you’re back in the heart of the cours Saleya, surrounded by the familiar aroma of rosemary and thyme.
Located in a cute cobbled street, this restaurant, which is nothing short of an institution for locals and tourists alike, was taken over five years ago by a Niçois with an infinite fondness for the traditional recipes he grew up with. No wonder then that all dishes reflect an authentic cuisine!
The owner, Didier, welcomes you with open arms and a smile. He wants you to feel right at home and treats you like guests rather than simple customers. If you have any questions, he will take the time to explain what’s on the menu, the different choices, the origins of the ingredients and how the main dishes are cooked, without ever pushing people to choose the most expensive options. He may even tell you a joke or two!
To start the meal, it is socca all round. The crispy Niçois pancake makes for the perfect appetizer while perusing the “carte du jour”, which includes a set menu as well as a wide variety of choices.
These include the lamb confit and the mustard lemon chicken to a large range of pizzas and the mysterious yet delicious desert, the Pain Tchinché, the restaurant’s own version of the pain perdu cooked just the way Didier’s mother used to make it. The portions are all very generous, everything is made using the freshest ingredients and to accompany the meal, a nice variety of wines from local producers is on offer.
But the experience does not stop with the meal. The cosy and “vintage chic” interior makes for a relaxing atmosphere, ideal for a family lunch or a dinner with friends, with a piano in one corner, a blazing log fire in another and fantastic art on the walls. It is quite small however so it is advisable to reserve in advance. The restaurant also only accepts cash so leave that CB at home!
L’Ecurie de la marquise
3, rue du Gacharel
All photographs © Florence Dubosc