Bouillabaisse anyone? La Mere Germaine in Villefranche sur Mer !
Read our previous posting “Villefranche sur Mer – Idyllic and upscale!”
Why would you go to France … for the culture? the beauty? the outdoor activities? the entertainment? the shopping? the food? Yes, all of the above. As for us, while we strive to plan our touring around the cultural sights, somehow our taste buds take priority these days and they steer our course.
So not too surprisingly, our first destination once we settled into our home base of Nice was a trip specifically planned to partake of the bouillabaisse at the famous restaurant La Mere Germaine nearby in Villefranche sur Mer. This elegant restaurant, situated on the water’s edge in Villefranche-sur-Mer which is located just east of Nice, is reputed to be one of the top restaurants on the Cote d’Azur for bouillabaisse and it did not disappoint. The chef prepared special side salads (not on the menu) for us as entrées, which were followed by the main event … the bouillabaisse. The broth was divine, the Mediterranean fish fresh, tender and perfectly prepared, and the rouille, a garlicky red pepper sauce which you spread on garlic-rubbed croûtes or simply stir into your bouillabaisse broth, was the perfect complement. For dessert we shared an exquisite chocolate soufflé made to order by the restaurant’s in-house patissier. Accompanied by a well-chilled bottle of Provencal rosé, the meal was enhanced by top-notch service from our waiter, French music in the background, and a commanding seaside view over both the water full of impressive yachts and the steep hillside dotted with elegant homes.
Settlements in Villefranche sur Mer date back to prehistoric times, but the village is particularly known for its medieval streets. So after our bouillabaisse lunch, we took a challenging walk up and down the city streets and stopped to look at Rue Obscure (Dark Street), a passage way under the harbor front houses that dates back to 1260. Did we walk off the multitude of calories that we ingested at lunch? Doubtful, but fueled by the bouillabaisse, we had a fascinating time trying.
Read our next posting: “Eze le Village – Lunch with a view of paradise!”
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