I love the food in Antibes! French baguettes, crepes, croissants, cheese and south-of-France ravioli!


Since the French Riviera has historic ties to Italy, food in Antibes has an Italian flair (ravioli and potato gnocchi were invented in Nice, only 10 miles from here) and the many, many restaurants offer an abundance of pasta selections.  And very reasonably priced- $10-15 Euro for a dinner including Antibes 9.15 025tax and tip. Today I got caught in the rain just outside the Old Town and dashed into a busy little restaurant, La Stozia, next to the movie rental store I discovered yesterday.  I would have preferred to have waited the rain out in the movie store because I had just sat out the previous burst of rain in a little place La Galerie Aubernon, near my house eating (of all things!) a sucre and beurre crepe and café American which I learned today does not go by the Starbucks name, but instead is called “un café allonge”.  But the movie store didn’t open till 3pm.  What could I possibly order to allow me to sit at this guy’s table while I waited for the rain to stop and the store to open?  Crème brulee?  Not on top of the crepe.  A glass of wine?  Everyone else was eating and drinking heartily but I just finished breakfast.  I decided on one of the 10 types of ravioli, the bolognaise, a meat-filled ravioli with tomato sauce.  Oh my god!  What a find!  This was by far, the very best tomato sauce I have ever tasted!  It was rich, sweet, and had a hearty, plump consistency.   And the pasta was paper thin with a fabulous tender shredded beef on the inside.  I was so glad I just happened upon this place.  Turns out the guy who I was waiting to open his movie shop next door came in with a friend and was seated right next to me.  No wonder he prioritized eating over opening.  Take a look at it to the right- can’t you just taste it?


Antibes 9.12 064Another one of my great finds… the tomatoes at the grocery store in the Old Town.  Oh my goodness!  I’m not a real tomato fan… I like tomato sauces and dried tomatoes, but usually push them aside in my salads.  Yesterday for some crazy reason, I was in the mood for bitter greens topped with tomato and mozzarella cheese and fresh basil and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil.  I saw these tomatoes in the little grocery store and bought one. 

Antibes 9.12 080Then I went to the fromagerie (cheese store) to choose a mozzarella.  The shopkeeper, who started off very friendly, insisted I buy the $11 mozzarella, because it was far superior to the $3 ball I thought I’d buy.  He became quite cranky when I stood my ground on the $3 choice (under intense pressure I might add) which made me wonder why if the $3 cheese is of such inferior quality, does he offer it for sale in his shop?  But I wasn’t about to go there.  Mr. Cheesy had already gotten himself in a mild hissy.

Turns out the salad was fabulous!  Even with the cheap cheese.  The tomatoes were the best I’ve ever tasted.  They had a delicious sweetness to them and now I finally know why they’re sometimes considered a fruit.Antibes 9.16 003

Wonder if I could have tasted the difference between the $3 and the $11 cheese?  Maybe next week when my $3 ball is gone I’ll go in his shop and ask him if he knows where I can purchase some mozzarella of higher quality. 

Baguettes, croissants and pastries

How good can they get?  There’s a boulangerie on just about every corner.  where I bought my raisin bisquit this morningEvery day… fresh baguettes, fresh croissants, fresh everything!  And if it’s not in the boulangerie (bakery) then I’m sure to find some wonderful sweet treat in the patisserie (pastry shop).  Antibes has one of those on every block too.  The picture to the left was taken in a shop just around the corner from my place.  Her baguettes are maybe 80 cents or something.  What you can’t tell from Antibes 9.8 003the picture of me holding the baguette is that it’s still warm in my hand.  When I got home, I cut it and put a slice of soft camembert on top and poured myself a glass of red wine.  Now, that’s relaxing.    

I don’t know what these almond bars are called.  All the boulangeries have them.  They’re made with honey I think, and almonds on top of a flaky crust.  I usually buy four squares a day and pop them in my mouth one after the other… I just can’t help it. Antibes 9.17 058  

And just take a look at the picture of the croissant… nuff said!  Except that I Antibes 9.14 001have no idea how they bake these to come out so airy and buttery delicious.  If I’m not having a crepe for breakfast in a restaurant, I put one of these in a hot buttered skillet just to make it warm (with a dash of salt since their butter is unsalted), and have it with honey.  Yum, yum, yum. 

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Crepes are super popular here.  Almost every casual restaurant sells them and they have maybe 10 different choices including ones with cheese and The Chef's Crepe special of the daymeat, like a sandwich.  I like the sucre and beurre (sugar and butter) crepe, but take a look at the Chef’s Crepe special at one of my favorite places, Cesar Cafe, the other day!  I didn’t get it, but it had goat cheese, tomatoes, eggplant and basil and the two people that I saw that did order it ate every bite.


Another one of my favorite things… Kinder chocolate!  Although it’s German and not French, it’s plentiful here.  This chocolate far surpasses Godiva and it’s priced like Hershey!  It is by far my favorite chocolate in the world.  Those little German ‘ice-cubes’, the chocolate squares that truly melt in your mouth do come in a close second. 

A friend of mine who had been stationed in Germany first introduced me to Kinder-egg chocolates.  They were egg-shaped with an adorable little wooden toy inside that after assembled, could move, jump or entertain.  You can imagine my delight when I was in France for the first time fifteen years ago and discovered that Kinder made little chocolate bars!  No toy to mess with!  All heavenly chocolate! 

For some reason, Kinder chocolate isn’t common in the states.  It’s in Spain (my kids used to bring it back for me from their exchange programs), Mexico (last January I bought boxes and boxes from the Mexican Wal-mart) and in France, it’s everywhere!  In the Tabac shops, grocery stores, drug Antibes 9.13 009stores, vending machines at the train station and even in some bakeries!  I keep a stash of it in my apartment.  One of my favorites is the kind that has what tastes like puffed wheat mixed in with it.  I bought this box the day before yesterday, and then last night noticed that only two of these bars (at 130 calories each) were left!  Who ate all of my chocolate???  Je ne sais pas!  Moi?  No wonder those French clothes don’t hang right.

Hungry, anyone?  Lots of pictures, I know, but a picture’s worth a thousand words, and I just couldn’t do this food justice with my words. 

I wanted to leave you with one last picture.  This morning when I walked by the sea I realized that I could see the snow-capped Alps behind Nice.  As usual, the beauty of this scene mesmerizes me.  But this morning it was just breath-taking.

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  • Christine says:

    Is there anyway you can find out the name of those little honey-almond squares? It’d be fun to do a Sweet-Tooth Friday about them.

    • I’ll find the name AND the recipe! They aren’t sugary sweet, just a hint of sweetness. And the way, I just had the BEST balsamic vinegarette drizzled over my plate. It was so good I asked for some on the side. The owner/chef came out and I asked him what it was. He said he adds a little bit of caramel to it. Yum!