Guide Michelin awards new stars in the French Riviera
It has been a dark year for restaurants. But despite the hardest year on record, Le Guide Michelin still awarded new stars. For 2021, the South of France was a big winner! Five new stars in PACA and no losers - after all, how could they take away a star after a year like this?
A third three-star restaurant for the South of France!
The biggest news is the highly coveted third star awarded to Restaurant AM in Marseille. Chef Alexandre Mazzia was overwhelmed at the announcement in mid-January, immediately thanking all those who helped him along his journey. And it was quite a journey from his childhood in the Congo to one of the most exceptional restaurants in the world. Sighting his curiosity as big aspect of his success, the Guide quoted Chef Mazzia: "I've done it all, right down to collective catering! I've always had this curiosity, everywhere, to know how things go behind the kitchen door".
This brings the total to three three-star restaurants in the south of France. Last year, of course, was our local celebrity chef Mauro Colagrecco and his Mirazur in Menton.
The following restaurants received their first star :
La Table d’Antonio Salvatore, Monaco
Riviera Insider interviewed Chef Antonio Salvatore last year at the Monaco institution, Rampoldi, where we were transported to southern Italy with the most authentic plate of pasta we’d had in a while. Since then, the Italian chef from Basilicata has been busy creating his own private universe downstairs from the restaurant in the exclusive cigar lounge. Here, surrounded by mahogany safes, he created La Table d’Antonio Salvatore, a hyper-VIP restaurant with only 5 tables. Sourcing only the best ingredients between Monaco and San Remo, he creates culinary masterpieces, each with a nod to old-school traditional Italian dishes.
Les Agitateurs, Nice
This fun, creative dining spot in the Nice Port area was chosen for their ‘creative cuisine’. In the kitchen of this ‘lively and friendly’ restaurant is a trio of Institut Paul Bocuse graduates: Samuel, Juliette and Pierre-Jean. Along with a talented team of sous-chefs, these fun foodies source ingredients from strictly local suppliers such as Albert Luciano's fruit and vegetables in Villefranche-sur-Mer and the Thiers Coquillage fish shop. You may be surprised at how affordable you can dine here: the lunch menu entree/plat/dessert is only €26 and the plat du jour 19€! Go early, the menu sells out daily!
Louroc at Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes
Inside the stunning, 100-year-old palace hotel, Louroc brings back ‘l’art de la table’ of bygone days with elegant surrounding, exquisite service and furniture pieces handcrafted by Provençal artisans. Chef Eric Frechon, Arnaud Poette and Sébastien Broda have created a menu perfectly suited to the location - Mediterranean - using the vegetables from the hotel’s own garden and highly selective local suppliers.
L’Or Bleu, Théole-sur-Mer
This lovely restaurant has stunning views of the red-rock Esterel massif, a fitting background to the imaginative Med-inspired seafood dishes from Chef Alain Montigny (MOF 2004). Offering two menus without choice, the plates vary almost daily depending on what the catch brings in. Michelin recommends the lobster, caviar and celery cream or the ‘remarkable’ roast with pumpkin gnocchi and porcini mushrooms.
Colette, St Tropez
This restaurant, in a little house next to the Hotel de Sezz, celebrates the magnificent produce of the Mediterranean region. Philippe Colinet created a large plant-based offering along with 'terre et mer' favourites. The Michelin Guide recommends the roasted pigeon with chickpeas and sesame oil or the grilled oysters with cream of shallots, watercress pulp and charcoal.