If you are looking for a unique restaurant in Antibes, Le Figuier de St-Esprit will offer you a rare dining style: classic but at the same time inventive.
(This restaurant review is an English translation of the article written by Serge Thorn author of the blog Hedofoodia. You can find here the original version of the review in French. You can visit Serge's blog for more restaurants review worldwide)
Situated on the seafront between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is a charming old town and this restaurant is located just off the main touristic area.
Strolling around the old narrow alleys of Antibes is delightful and relaxing.
It is hard to imagine that such a tastefully decorated restaurant is located in this old part of town.
Want to know about Antibes? Sceneries, art and food, watch the video:
Spring Started in Antibes
The restaurant is a restructured old house where the covered patio has been arranged as the main dining area.
White ceiling, beautiful iron chandeliers, art deco design, some paints on the wall and tables elegantly set with stylish cutlery.
You can also enjoy your meals at two-level patio outdoor, with a sumptuous fig tree which releases a wonderful sweet aroma.
The floor is covered with small pebbles, the exposed stone walls marry very well with the level of sophistication of the place.
On one side, you can see an HD screen that continuously diffuses the images of the kitchen.
Chef Christian Morisset
It is in this kitchen that Chef Christian Morisset leads the way, a figure well known in the region since he has already worked in several other houses for several decades.
His cooking shows great skill and precision rarely equaled.
You may not find anything extremely innovative, no new culinary techniques or audacious associations, but everything that came out of the kitchen was of a very high standard.
It is a very comfortable cuisine, much better than the failed attempts of some restaurants that only follow a movement or a fashion.
The restaurant offers two menus; a three-course menu at 65 euros and a gourmet menu may be rather for the evening at 95 euros.
For lunch, we selected the first.
Foie gras des Landes cuit au torchon, chutney de fruits rouges
One of the starters, a foie gras of the Landes cooked in a tea towel, chutney of red fruits and toasts of country bread.
Impeccable cooking of the liver, neither too salty nor too alcoholic, enhanced by a slightly acid and sweet fruit.
Nothing innovative, but perfect ... we can not say anything!
Royale de volaille aux morilles, œuf de caille poché et velouté d’asperge
The other starter is a chicken breast with morels, poached quail egg and asparagus cream, sandwich bread and fresh foie gras shavings.
A recipe that should probably come out of Escoffier's cookbook brought up to date with a delicious morel from the region; a dish "reassuring" and greedy.
Foie gras avec de fines lamelles de radis et d’asperges
To accompany, a subtle combination of foie gras and thin slices of radish and asparagus associating the fondant liver, crisp bread and crisp vegetables.
Asperges entourées du lard d’Arnad
And two beautiful asparagus surrounded by Arnad bacon to complete the plate.
Le poisson de la pêche du jour
To follow 3 different main dishes; fish of the day (and Mediterranean !!), Saint Pierre with its vegetables of the day.
Seared and accompanied by some potatoes, tomatoes and fennel.
Full Provençal flavors for this very beautiful fish with irreproachable freshness.
Duo de bœuf « Angus Aberdeen » cœur d’entrecôte rôti
For another guest, an Angus Aberdeen beef duo, heart of steak entrecote roasted, seasoned peppery artichoke, potatoes of Noirmoutier, purple mustard sauce and piquillo tartar, salad sprout.
I could not taste this plate (and besides the guest rushed on his plate, preventing me from taking a picture ...), but I could understand that the meat was very tender and tartare seasoned smartly with a hint of peppers.
Agneau de lait des Alpilles en deux cuissons
My dish was suckling Alpilles lamb in two cooking: leg or tajine shoulder and roasted saddle in a crust of citrus and rosemary, muslin carrots and peas.
A plate with a side a tajine rather classic in its realization and very (too much?) Close to Moroccan flavors, with apricots.
Very good but not surprising, which is not ultimately a problem in itself.
The second meat, like a fillet of lamb, surrounded by mashed orange carrots, some crunchy peas.
Delicious, obvious but just cooking and flavors.
Emincé de fraises
To finish this meal, two different desserts.
The first, a slice of "Cleary" strawberries in their own juice, cheesecake with lime zest, vacherin and surprise strawberry.
A nice plate, a kind of strawberry carpaccio in a slightly gelled sauce, on which was arranged a slice of this cake and on the side a strawberry sorbet.
Again, not a creation but so well realized that it becomes a delight.
Soufflé mandarine et son lingot aux paillettes d’or
The other dessert, a mandarin soufflé and its gold glitter ingot, passion fruit mousse, mandarin sorbet.
My previous comments remain valid for this very beautiful dessert, it is very good, and precise in its realization.
Some sweets to complete this meal.
For wine, we had a very good Bandol Domaine de Terrebrune 2009, well structured with a good taste of liquorice.
Here is a wonderful meal that was a "no fault".
We feel a great professionalism in this establishment, the service is impeccable and we are delighted to eat traditional cuisine but really revisited and lightened.
The products are beautiful, the cooking is perfect and the flavors are reflected and built.
An impressive table of accuracy.
Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit
14 Rue du Saint-Esprit,
Tel: +33 4 93 34 50 12
The author Serge Thorn
Serge is a Swiss national based in Geneva and also Barcelona. As he is continually traveling for business, he relishes the opportunity to indulge in one of his greatest passions, trying new cuisine and discovering new restaurants. A seasoned food expert, he grew up in the midst of gastronomic excellence and learned about different dishes, ingredients and cooking since an early age. He documents his love for food and his discoveries in his blog: Hedofoodia. He appreciates greatness as well as simplicity, and as he writes on his blog: From the moment that emotion and pleasure are there ... that's what matters.