The mythic Hôtel Belles Rives is one of those rare places on the Riviera where you can still savor the enduring magic of this storied coastline. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald summered here when it was known as the Villa Saint Louis, and their antic creativity and talent for having a good time still inform the atmosphere of this delightful place. This summer it’s become one of the loveliest spots for a festive meal on the Côte d’Azur, too, with the arrival of chef Pascal Bardet, who worked with Alain Ducasse for 17 years before arriving as head chef at La Passagère. So book a table on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean and sample some of Bardet’s dishes: sublime vegetable lasagna, its paper-fine sheets of pasta layered with a variety of tiny local vegetables in a light pistou sauce; John Dory in saffron-spiked fish fumet (intensely flavored, reduced bouillon) with baby potatoes; veal roasted with sage and garnished with gnocchi, morel mushrooms and green asparagus; and lemon millefeuille. The food’s as delicious as the setting, and the service is charming, too.
Hôtel Belles Rives, 33 blvd Edouard-Baudoin, 04.93.61.02.79.
Lunch menus €29, €48; lunch/dinner menus €65, €120; à la carte €100; wine starting at €45. Prices are approximate, per person without wine.
Originally published in the July/August 2012 issue of France Today; updated in October 2012