Despite the lockdowns that closed all of the country’s restaurants — the last one ran from October 2020 to May 2021 — the dining scene in the south of France is thriving once again. What’s most noticeable about the menus of the best new tables is that many chefs are cooking simpler dishes to showcase the natural flavors and textures of the produce they work with. “The pandemic has created a strong preference for light, healthy, seasonal cooking that is not too complicated,” star chef Hélène Darroze has said.
In a nod to his Argentine roots, chef Mauro Colagreco of the Michelin three-star restaurant Mirazur has opened a relaxed parrilla (grill) and pasta restaurant across the street from his gastronomic establishment in Menton. The Argentines are famously carnivorous, and this restaurant serves the cuts of meat they like, along with their favorite garnishes, notably chimichurri, a spicy hot sauce of parsley, oregano, garlic, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. The homemade pastas change daily, as does much of the menu. Stopping by for an early dinner, we loved the beautiful views of the Mediterranean from the dining room and enjoyed a delicious and uncomplicated meal of wood-fire-grilled octopus, sea bream carpaccio, steak and a superbly flavorful rotisserie-roasted Bresse chicken stuffed with mandarin oranges and walnuts.
80 Bis Boulevard de Garavan, Menton. Tel. (33) 4-93-17-13-15