Destination: France: Cannes
La Cave du Marché
At this cozy wine-store-slash bistro that pours coupettes of excellent champagne for customers and doles out satisfying small plates of food, you can sit outside and watch locals shop the Marché Forville; or, for proximity to the friendly chef and the neighborhood policemen who drop in regularly for chats, choose the tall table in the back, nestled among the ceiling-high racks of shimmering rosé bottles. This is a place for midday leisure, in true Riviera style. Chat, sip, and nibble on perfect-sized portions of delicious Mediterranean-influenced dishes and rare and regional wines. I had a rich and tangy cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, so authentically local no one knew its name. A spicy octopus salad was followed by a pistachio gnocchi packed with nutty flavors nutty. Provençale olives—very small, very buttery, and mild—are a fixture on each table. Other notable dishes were the gnocchi à l’huile de truffe blanche, hareng fumé (a smoked fish), and the Pata Negra: a type of cured ham from the black Iberian pig, which the chef cuts into thick slices as you stand, salivating, at the bar.
Indagare Tip: La Cave du Marché is located kitty-corner to the fantastically packed Marché Forville, and is a great spot for lunch with local flavor. For evenings, head over to its sister store, La Cave Croisette. Located on boutique-lined rue d’Antibes, it is larger, with more seating to offer. It can also be reserved for private functions and can cater yachts and private villas. 151, rue d’Antibes; 33 4 92 59 14 22.
Only a block off of Boulevard de la Croisette, Le Pastis feels miles away from the glitz of Cannes. It is a quintessential French bistro with such familiar features as smoky mirrors behind the bar, a pressed tin ceiling, a convivial crowd of regulars and harried waitresses. There’s no menu; rather a blackboard with the day’s specials that passes from table to table. You’ll always find pizza, steak and lamb on offer along with seasonal favorites such as artichokes or white asparagus. It’s popular for lunch and dinner, and I wouldn’t be shocked if some poet philosophers linger all the way through from one meal to the next. It’s that kind of neighborhood place.
Hands down the best place in town—perhaps, on the whole Cote d’Azur—for pizza. Order four cheeses, margherita or one with seafood or vegetables. There’s a great laid-back atmosphere and consistently good Italian food.
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