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“Amazing food again and again”
Review of La Gargamelle

La Gargamelle
Ranked #293 of 2,109 Restaurants in Nice
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Centre
Reviewed 5 June 2017

My partner and I have now visited this restaurant 4 times over the last 3 years, and every time the food has been amazing. You can really tell that everything is made by someone who really cares about the food, and it seems the ingredients are top quality (never a scrap left on my plate)
Its the perfect place if you want a cosy meal, atmosphere is amazing and I love the traditional decor. Service is also great!
Will not visit Nice without a trip here.
Tip: its cash only!

    • Value
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Thank coca_cola_poca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2017

If you go to Nice, you must visit the Lechner family's restaurant.

It is unlike anything we have seen anywhere in the world.

But if you want food and an ambience that would be like a real French home, this would be it.

If you want a brightly lit place with artistic nouvelle cuisine presentation swiftly made and served, other places beckon.

I you want a cozy place to linger, talk and enjoy the attentive service of Leslie, Laurent's daughter, who will look after you at the right pace, this place is worth your time.

And with a wonderfully dry sense of humor.

I knew we would like Leslie when we met her by chance on the street and she picked up our dog, Bob Marley and cuddled him outside the restaurant.

She has 4 dogs, 4 cats and 7 birds.

And that's how we made a reservation for the next Sunday evening.

Others have detailed the decor and the family story well, including their sojourn to the USA and the back and forth transporting of the marvelous collection of miniature liquor bottles.

It remains rather humbling though to see an actual bottle from the Louis XV1 era, the French Revolution. None of the 5,000+ bottles have been opened, some have just evaporated after a couple of hundred years.

So what you can expect in this romantically and eclectically decorated place?

Real French food. Not fancy but genuinely prepared from the finest local ingredients.

While some of the vegetables are artistically presented, the meal has not been "plated".

Like potatoes cut into thin slivers and presented like a hand of cards. Vegetables gently cooked to the right smooth texture. Nothing chunky or crisp but not soggy or smothered n sauce.

Two of us had steak, something I don't particularly order in France, other than tartare or Daubes.

My Filet Rossini is a good old fashioned dish, abandoned by the Danny Meyer's of NY and a dish that will terrify Californians with its liberal topping of duck liver pate.

Lightly seared on the top of a delicate piece of meat it was delicious. A throw back in time when food was food and few people worried about the real ingredients like rich creams on my friend's steak poivre or Fois Gras that make certain dishes like Rossini unique.

I ordered it rare, also something I don't really do at the Palm or Smith and Wollensky's at home in New York.

Firstly Laurent clearly knows how to buy filet and then cook it so it is effectively
Black and Blue, but there is no blood, as would be the case in a US steakhouse.

Either this beef is hung longer or differently, but it has a completely different taste and texture. Less chewy, less "Fibrous" if that makes sense.

Washed down with the house Bordeaux this was a perfect food experience.

My wife had the gently cooked Dourade Royale Roti and our other friend enjoyed the Cog au vin. As she said it doesn't get more French than that.

The only advice I would offer is that the portions are designed for three courses. So, if you don't have an appetizer or desert, you might find them on the small side.

Some reviewers have thought the prices were high. They are not.

We had a half liter of Rose, a full carafe of the house red, sparkling water and just one desert, (the Limon cello sorbet). The price was $75.00 a couple. You would pay that at a corner bistro for good but ordinary food.

Take cash so the Lechner's get all of it and don't complain like others have done.

    • Value
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Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2016

A family (father in the kitchen, daughter serving) run restaurant with exceptionally good food. Has a limited wine selection (3 regions) and will not name the brands but guarantee all will be good. Very "grandma" interior design with thousands of miniature bottles. Note: cash only!!

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1  Thank pappwm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2016 via mobile

Stumbled across this place whilst going for a meal elsewhere. Thought it looked nice so made a reservation for the next day.

Filet of steak specially from Nice was perfect. My girlfriend had a specially made pasta dish which she loved.

100% worth a visit

Thank Thomas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2016

This is a family-run restaurant about a block and a half off of Place Messana. We walked by it one evening, checked out the menu (and TripAdvisor reviews which are mostly really good), and decided to eat here for my birthday dinner the next night. We asked the hotel concierge to make us a reservation, and she had never heard of it.
It's totally a family-run operation, and you feel like you're a welcome guest in their house. The interior warm and inviting, and the decoration is kind of quirky, definitely expressing the owner's personality rather than some corporate idea about decor. We were greeted warmly and given a choice of English or French menus (which are on a board that's brought to the table). There is a wide selection of entrées and main courses. We were served a little amuse bouche before our salads; my hearts of endive salad was really good and good looking, fashioned with care. For a main course, I had filet of beef in a Rochefort sauce, which was amazing (and cooked perfectly). My wife had salmon (a pretty good-sized piece), also delicious. Both came with some potatoes and vegetables, cooked and seasoned perfectly. For dessert we had a chocolate cake thing (it had a French name that I can't remember) which my wife is still talking about. We had wine, which was poured at the bar and brought to the table in a pitcher (carafe style, but as in the countryside); we drank a Cotes de Rhone which was mid-priced and very smooth. All in all it was a great, great meal, but the place was almost empty.
Two notes. One: cash only, no credit cards. Two: don't be put off if it isn't crowded when you look in; that usually scares us away but in this case not being crowded doesn't mean it's not great. I will be going back when I'm in Nice next.

Thank Marc J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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