Chez VIncent et Nicolas

92 rue Meynadier 06400 Cannes, France+33 4 93 68 35 39 chezvincentetnicolas.fr

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Just before the bottom of the hill on the main drag in Old Cannes, there is a little alley to the left or right depending on which direction you’re heading, and within that alley you will find three more restaurants tucked away from view. Now I can’t speak about the other two, but Chez Vincent was a nice find indeed.

The night started off with a great bottle of Syrah and very friendly service, and as for the meal, it started off with a gooey, baked Camembert served with sliced green apples and toast. Unfortunately the apples were sliced razor thin and didn’t hold up to the cheese at all. Also, the toast was actually a bit stale. Fortunately, the baguette in the breadbasket was incredibly fresh, so we used that to sop up the cheese instead and it was nummy, nummy.

We also did the scallops wrapped in bacon, which is an oldy but a goody. And finally another classic starter, a whole artichoke served with Dijon for dipping. Both were also very good, but nothing game-changing.

For entrees it was a mixed bag. My mushroom and chicken risotto being extraordinary, the elbow pasta being interesting and the salmon tartar being a touch bland as the fish itself was overpowered by the dill and onion within. And while the French fries served with it were quite soggy, they were actually the best thing about the tartar. That said, if you want the fries without the salmon, I’d suggest going with the burger. It looked crazy good. As did the moules frites (pictured).

And speaking of crazy good, the tart tatin for dessert is another must get, nearly equal to the risotto and between the two enough to have me flirting with the thought of 4 knives. Unfortunately the dessert medley was not-so fantastic, keeping things firmly supplanted at three.

3 teeth

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L’Ondine

La Croisette, 06400 Cannes, FR • 0493942315 • ondineplage.com
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When mussel season hits, this place is a must. Located right on the beach with the gold and white awnings, just down from the Carlton. There are several other things here that are good as well, such as the caprese and artichoke salads. But one word of caution, the portions are humungous. I’m guessing they have Americanized them for all the tourists. Or Italianized them for family style? Well, whatever they did, they awesomized the Moules Frites. The best I’ve ever had. Each mollusk carrying with it a faint memory of the sea, along with a white wine broth so good you’ll want to sop it up with a bushel of baguettes.

3 teeth

Belgian Beer Café

220 5th Ave. New York, NY 10001(212) 575-2337bbcnomad.com

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If your looking for a nice Belgian brew, you’ve come to the right place. Everything from Duvel and Chimay to Hoegaarden and Leffe. On tap or bottled depending on your fancy. Great place for a beer after work.

If you’re looking for moules frites, you will also be pleasantly surprised as the options are quite good and quite inventive as well, like the orange-saffron which was bread dippin’ good.

If you’re looking for a burger, however, you will be disappointed. While it sounds good on paper, it’s nothing special to taste, and the lettuce they served on it was a wilted abomination. Fortunately the fries that came with it were better than the burger itself.

And last but not least, if you’re looking for how many knives, it’s about a two and a half. But I’m sure I’ll be back, so check again for an updated review.

2 teeth

The Ultimate Mussels

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Midye Dolma Carts & Sehmus– Bodrum, TK

During the Summer, throughout the Bodrum area, there are these guys walking around with street carts, loaded with mussels. Now, if you are half sane, mollusks are probably the LAST street meat you’d ever want to risk your life with, but please hear me out.

These mussels are called midye dolma (stuffed mussels) and they cooked, stuffed with rice and spices, closed back up and then chilled. All of this happening back in Izmir where the family catches the mussels and prepares them. Then, they load up their sons (it would seem they have outdone the old lady who lived in a shoe) with these mussels and send them off throughout the Turkish Riviera.

So, should you happen to see one of these guys, don’t think it’s some rinky dink operation. And especially don’t pass them by. Get yourself a dozen, squeeze some lemon over the top and order yourself a glass of white wine or raki. I will bet my foodiness that about halfway through you will be ready for another dozen.

Yamashiro – Los Angeles, CA

Most people come to Yamashiro for the view. I go for the mussels. I mean sure, the view is spectacular and the grounds are impeccable, but the Seven Spice Mussels are seventh heaven. Forget the sushi. Forget the fact that Jason Priestley once took Jennie Garth here for a date on 90210. Just remember to get the mussels if you should ever go here.

L’Ondine – Cannes, FR

The place is very unassuming from a culinary aspect as you would likely discount it as just a beach that happens to serve food, but assumptions are like really annoying phrases that you’ve heard all your life so I’ll spare you. That said, park your assumptions on the Croisette because the Moules Frites here is phenomenal.

Red Hat

1 Bridge St. Irvington, NY 10533 • (914) 591-5888redhatbistro.com

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I honestly love so many things about this place. Good food, great location, wonderful decor, fantastic service. The owner really seems engaged with the place and it shows.

It’s located in the loft spaces right on the Hudson river and I highly recommend getting there early during the summer for a drink on the rooftop. Harvest on who?

Inside, they didn’t miss a trick. Feels like you stepped right into a Paris Bistro. Granted, it’s probably 3 times the size of most of the bistros I’ve seen in France, but you get my point.

Now for the food. The moules frites alone is worth a visit. One bite and you’ll feel like you’re in Cannes- just fantastic. I also love their salmon burger for lunch, although their regular burger isn’t too shabby either.

Now for the bad news. They don’t have high chairs, which is a bit odd in such a family oriented town. Also, the menu can be a little hit or miss if you stray from the tried and true, but since I almost always get the mussels and the salmon burger, I’m seldom disappointed.

3 teeth

Bistro Rollin

142 Fifth Ave. Pelham, NY 10803 • (914) 633-0780bistrorollin.com

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After butchering the pronunciation of this place for the last five years, we finally decided to pay it a visit, and I am so glad we did, because I had heard mixed reviews and that it was overrated. But we went with expectations in check and it did not disappoint.

For starters we had the Oysters Rollin, which were quite good, and the stuffed zucchini flowers, which were excellent. Each dressed with a subtle hit of flavor from its accouterments . The oysters, with their refreshing citrus jus. And the flowers with their nice pop of heat.

We also did the pork pate, which was also pretty nice. Served with cornichon, stone ground mustard and crostinis.

After that, we each had our entrees, and I personally went with the waiter’s reco, the duck. And it was terrific. Perfectly cooked. Served over a bed of soft polenta and caramelized baby onions for sweetness.

My friend had the moulles frites- but opted for the curry version- also quite stellar.

My wife had the filet, which was the only thing that was just “eh.”

Then came dessert. We ordered two for the table. The tart tatin and the profiteroles. Both were good, but the hero was the ice cream served atop the apple tart. So creamy  the cow must’ve been an overachiever . As for the desserts themselves, they both could’ve stood to be a little flakier. But good nonetheless.

Paul also recommended a wonderful wine to drink it all down with. Which we did. And service in general was not only good, but very friendly.

Glad I finally went. It’s the only other French Bistro in Westchester- the other being Red Hat, that I’ve liked. And while Red Hat might win on décor/setting, I think Rollin has the edge on the food.

4 teeth

Le Jardin Du Roi

95 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514(914) 238-1368lejardinchappaqua.com

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This is a very hard review for me, because various aspects of our experiences here are so vastly different from one another, that it’s difficult to distill it all into one knife count. So, please read on, and you will better understand my conflicted review.

Décor Outside: 4 knives. The outdoor seating area is very charming in a little garden right off King St., perched high on a patio with dappled light pouring through the trees above. A true “jardin” setting to its name.

Inside Décor: 2 knives. The inside seating feels a quite dated and run down. Especially the bathrooms. Granted I suppose one can’t be too particular about where one goes to pop a squat.

Staff Service: 2 knives. Apart from being slow, they were also quite bad. For example, we ordered two Arnold Palmers and apple juice for my son. When they delivered the drinks, they even cut the apple juice with iced tea! Fortunately, he quickly remedied the situation. Then, after ordering our meal, I am told they are out of mustard for the burger! A place that is SO well known for its burgers completely ran out of Dijon by 12:45pm during Sunday Brunch?!? This is sacrilege to me. And while this last one is the tiniest of nits, it’s indicative of the sloppiness at large. Upon paying the bill they delivered the check, post running my credit card, without a pen. Details people. Details.

Owner/Manager Service: 5 knives. This makes up for a lot. Joe came by, asked how we were doing. We told him it was our first time at his restaurant and that we had just moved to the area. He was very friendly, talked to us a while. Made us feel right at home, and even gave us a complementary order of French Toast. For this alone, we happily returned… for dinner.

Brunch: 3 knives. The burger was indeed good. Charred perfectly on the outside, juicy on the inside. Good quality meat. The lobster roll was just okay, as was the lobster salad that my wife had. And the French Toast was very good, maybe because it was free. Maybe because it was just really good. A simple baguette soaked through with eggy goodness.

Dinner: 1 Knife. So, as I mentioned above, we happily returned. But unfortunately “happily” was not how we left. Service was noticeably better and Joe was as friendly as ever, but man is the dinner menu bad. The salad with goat cheese and spinach wontons was meh. The special sole almondine with ratatouille was just okay. The bouillabaisse was flavorless and the moules frites was a shell of the one served at Red Hat. And the bread pudding was an edible nail in the coffin. So bad I felt the need to go back and update this review, docking it a knife.

And so, there you have it, my NEW net, net… two knives

2 teeth.