We head to Monaco for the evening entertainment – it is a very short drive from Nice, maybe 20minutes, maybe less. You can easily catch a taxi between the two, if you fancy a cheeky Casino hit. The Contiki group dress up for the night – anyone that hasn’t brought a formal evening outfit goes shopping in Nice to pick up some glamour. Casino, bling,
and glitz await the evening.
The added extra Monaco dinner is a definite consideration (Restaurant U’Cavagnetu, Address: 14 Rue Comte Felix Gastaldi, 00 377 97 98 20 40, Monaco). Being Christmas, we are sold a slightly more expensive Christmas meal that also includes cocktails to starts. The food is all around a step up (the finer side of the palate e.g. duck fois gras is served to us), and the restaurant is very cute and welcoming. Not too touristy either, it sets a great tone for a night at the casinos.
To start, some focaccia, the pesto and onion relish on top is house made and a very good start.
The starter plate is impressive.
Clockwise from the top – potato bellini with crème fraiche, prawn wrapped in crispy noodles (not sure if from a packet, but is plump), smoked salmon on toast, salad, duck foie gras with chutney, and in the centre – crab salad. VERY good start.
Lucky for me, several (and I mean the majority) of the tour are aversive to the foie
gras, so I gobble up their share!
I order the fish dish – salmon and saffron sauce, with a pastry top. I really wanted to taste the saffron sauce. As I have contended time and time again – why the price of Saffron? To me, it is a colour not a flavour, and this dish only reconfirms that. The sauce is creamy, and nice, but…the Saffron, to me, does not add anything. I don’t really understand what the saffron flavour is. Perhaps I need to do some taste-testing to teach myself. Further to this, I did not realise it was more smoked salmon. The dish is serve with vegetables at the bottom, and whilst is relatively nice – the smoked salmon overpowers the rest of the dish with the same flavours from the starter.
The better option is the amazing roast chicken with sorrel mushroom sauce. WOW does this pack flavour, crispy chicken skin, and I LOVE sorrel mushrooms.
Dessert is a solid finish. The black forest cake is not too artificial and pretty tasty and moist.
The bombe Alaska (glace au four) is lush, though served as a slice lacks that ‘wow’ factor when served whole (and flaming).
To finish, some uber chocolates, rich and satisfying. By this point, that darnest egg brik I had in Nice earlier in the day is wrecking havoc with my tummy, and I am forced to stop eating (!!!).
We head up to the casino’s, the Monte Carlo charging a $10 euro entry fee is a bit
steep – the inside sure is like a fancy palace (gold embroidery everywhere, luxury prints, heavy curtains etc) but the tables are all VERY expensive to play. Don’t bother – head to the free casinos if you want to have a play and a good evening with some drinks. Bloated I head home. Other’s stay out and stay glamourous well into the evening.
Epic part 10 SOON.