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Credit: Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

5 of the best new restaurants on the French Riviera

6 June 2022• Written by Georgia Boscawen

The past two years might have felt quiet, but behind closed doors restaurateurs have been hard at work, creating new food concepts that have now come to fruition. Georgia Boscawen discovers what’s new on the Riviera’s food scene

Ceto at the Maybourne Riviera

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

Ceto at the Maybourne Riviera
Credit: Matteo Carassale/Maybourne Riviera

Having only opened its doors in the summer of 2021, you may not have heard of the Maybourne Riviera, but if you’ve cruised east from Monaco, you will have certainly seen it. With its striking modernist architecture that has seemingly been hewn into the overhanging cliffs of the Bon Voyage district of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (in what has been quite a controversial construction project due to its precarious setting), the hotel is the hottest new address in the Riviera. And, of course, for a property so magnificent, only a spellbinding restaurant would suffice.

Credit: Matteo Carassale

With Mauro Colagreco at the helm, who is best known for his work at the three-Michelin-starred Mirazur in Menton, Ceto was always going to make a splash. Inspired by Greek mythology, the restaurant is named after the primordial sea goddess – an appropriate name given the restaurant’s overhanging position and its breathtaking views. However, it’s Ceto’s menu that really shines, thanks to its clean and precise dishes with uncomplicated flavours. You’ll find langoustine tartare with Oscietra caviar and blue lobster with black cabbage and lobster jus. And while it may be a challenge, you won’t want to miss the cheeseboard, which is packed with a constantly changing selection of seasonal cheese from local artisans.

Shortly after opening, Ceto was awarded a Michelin star for the exceptional experience and intoxicating culinary journey it offers. So next time you cruise past this clifftop haven, make sure you stop in.

Chef Mauro Colagreco

USP Its overhanging clifftop location  and exceptional Mediterranean menu  by one of France’s most celebrated chefs

maybourneriviera.com

Pavyllon at the Hôtel Hermitage

Monte-Carlo

Pavyllon at the Hôtel Hermitage
Credit: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

For such an illustrious hotel in the centre of Monaco, only a handful of names in the culinary circuit would take on the challenge of developing this gastronomic hotspot. Having been completely redesigned by Chahan Minassian, Monégasques breathed a sigh of relief when celebrated chef Yannick Alléno stepped up to the plate. For two decades, Alléno has pioneered more than a dozen renowned eateries across the globe, including two three-Michelin-starred restaurants. He is considered one of the most influential French chefs in the world.

Credit: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

The menu, which has already earned a Michelin star, is packed with mesmerising dishes, including millefeuille Wagyu beef, caviar-dressed hen’s eggs and whipped ice cream. Make sure you book a table outside on the terrace, which has also had a makeover, so you can take in the views sitting among the citrus fruits, olive trees and jasmine.

Chef Yannick Alléno

USP An opportunity to see discover why Alléno is one of the most influential chefs in the world

montecarlosbm.com

Cookoovaya

Saint-Tropez

Credit: Cookoovaya/Nikos Mamalos

In late 2014, five of Athens’ most esteemed chefs came together to create a rustic yet upscale food concept in the heart of the city. Since then, Cookoovaya has been a buzzing and wildly popular culinary haven for those in search of authentic – and often adventurous – sharing dishes that follow the seasons. Here, the menu is packed with daring combinations, such as local prawn, fermented tomato and nettle pesto.

This season, chef Pericles Koskinas, one of the restaurant’s founding fathers, has brought this concept to the shores of Saint-Tropez. The second outpost of Cookoovaya has opened within the sun-bleached walls of Pan Deï Palais hotel on Rue Gambatta, just a few hundred metres from the port. Adopting the same Hellenic concept of uncomplicated sharing platters and local produce, Cookoovaya is the first Greek restaurant in Saint-Tropez – it promises to emphasise why it is still a fishing village at heart with its assortment of seafood on offer. Alongside the catch of the day, grilled over an open fire, you can expect Omá – a signature dish of raw fish – tzatziki and classic keftedes.

Cookoovaya at the Pan Deï Palais

Despite sitting in the heart of Saint-Tropez, Pan Deï Palais is an oasis, hidden away from the crowded streets, which makes Cookoovaya a great spot to book for those in the know. The new restaurant spills from within the hotel’s sun-blushed walls to the resplendent garden – one of Saint-Tropez’s best-kept secrets, packed with birds of paradise and bamboo.

Chef Pericles Koskinas

USP Local French seafood elevated with Greek flavours in an idyllic private setting

airelles.com

Arcadia at Hotel Byblos

Saint-Tropez

Arcadia at Hotel Byblos
Credit: Hotel Byblos

Having hosted international royalty, movie stars and rock idols since it opened its doors in the late 1960s, Hotel Byblos is more of an institution than a secret on the shores of Saint-Tropez. It may be ultra-high-end, but it’s far from flashy and ostentatious. Rather, it has a reputation for being effortlessly chic.

This season, however, the property has reopened in what has been described as a “new culinary chapter”. Pioneered by chef Nicola Canuti, who spent nine years working under the pioneering Alain Ducasse, the menu is full of local seafood, vegetables plucked from Byblos’s own kitchen garden and its own rosé – Domaine Ott, Cuveé Byblos.

Credit: Hotel Byblos/Adrien Daste

Its first menu of the season has launched with traditional flavours constructed with tweezer precision, including sea bass ceviche in chlorophyll sauce, wood-fired beef tenderloin in a brioche crust with truffle and the catch of the day with artichoke barigoule drenched in bouillabaisse sauce.

Set in the heart of Byblos’s main square, Arcadia is an inherently laid-back restaurant that promises to impress with a well-constructed menu that is designed to show off the best local ingredients that Saint-Tropez has to offer.

Chef Nicola Canuti

USP With its own kitchen garden and beehives, Arcadia  has taken a sustainable approach to fine dining in a  laid-back yet iconic setting

byblos.com

Hélène Darroze à Villa La Coste

Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade

Credit: Bernhard Winkelmann

With so much talent flooding the Riviera, there are only a handful of names that could create a palpable stir in the gastronomic scene. Hélène Darroze is one of those names, having opened her latest eponymous restaurant at Villa La Coste last year, nestled in the vineyards of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade. It may be a short drive inland from Marseille, but Darroze is hot on the heels of her latest three Michelin stars for her London restaurant, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, and two stars for Marsan par Hélène Darroze in Paris.

Credit: Bernhard Winkelmann

The restaurant’s beautiful dishes are inspired by the opulence and diversity of the region’s fruit and vegetables. The menu is “a walk into the gardens of Provence” and each course is centred around one vegetable that has been plucked from one of the surrounding gardens. Every dish is named after its ingredient – for example, carrot, aubergine or cherry – but showcases it in an incredible variety of new ways to ignite the senses.

Chef Hélène Darroze

USP One of the world’s most revered chefs showcases how a simple vegetable is enough to earn a Michelin star

villalacoste.com

Em Sherif, Hôtel de Paris

Monte-Carlo

Credit: Monte-Carlo Société Des Bains De Mer

Located on the ground floor of Hôtel de Paris Monte‑Carlo, the restaurant Em Sherif Monte‑Carlo is an exciting arrival within one of the principality’s most iconic hotels. With chef Yasmina Hayek at the helm, this new eatery is a taste of Lebanon intertwined with flavours of the Mediterranean.

Since the concept was born in Lebanon by Yasmina’s mother, Mireille, in 2011, the restaurant has gained a cult following in the Middle East, and has now set its sights on some of the most prestigious addresses in Europe.

Em Sherif, Hôtel de Paris
Credit: Monte-Carlo Société Des Bains De Mer

The menu is packed with elevated traditional dishes, such as beef fillet shawarma, slow-cooked lamb shank and a huge selection of mezze. Em Sherif is centred around sharing, which gives the restaurant a laid-back air in a sublime setting.

Chef Yasmina Hayek

USP New Lebanese flavours for Monaco in one of the principality’s most prestigious settings

montecarlosbm.com

First published in the July 2022 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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