Le Brulot, Antibes 11-2018

Although it wasn't Marseille, I really wanted bouillabaisse. It is apparently quite difficult to find outside Marseille, let alone a good one. Well it's lucky Le Brulot has one on the menu, and my Airbnb host recommended it. The online menu says €55 and 24h notice. Unfortunately they are closed on a Sunday and so pre-ordering for Monday night wasn't possible, as hard as I tried by an online booking (which was successful then rejected on Monday) and calling to ask. However when I arrived and saw the restaurant menu, it was now €65. Per person. €130 for 2 people. What the hell? Good thing I couldn't get it.

Drifting into the restaurant from the heavy wind and rain, it seemed to be the busiest restaurant that Monday. Everyone around was French and nearly all the tables filled up. It must be testament.

One waitress served the entire underground area with rock walls and netting and some fake plants. It was quite nice (although a little dank) under there. She worked hard and smiled.

The set menus are wonderful value, as long as you are hungry enough to get through it. The Menu Cigale €28.9 is enough food for any 1 person certainly, or you can do like the table next to us and overorder then get takeaway. The Menu Gastronomique is only if a dish you really really want features there alone €44.9.

- Cassolette d'escargots (Burgundy snails in parsley butter) x12 - delicious little beasts in parsley butter. Could have used a touch more salt;
- Soup de poissons, maison (homemade fish soup) - this is what I dreamt of. Thick bouillabaisse soup base, just without the €100 of fish. It was beautiful and warm and filling with melty cheese to stir through and a strong garlic rouille on sliced croutons. Simply magnificent. The complimentary bread served with the meal wasn't the best, but once soaked in soup became a delight;
- Granite de poire au Calvados (pear granita with Calvados) - refreshing granita with strong alcohol at the base;
- Filet de boeuf (filet of beef grilled in wood fire with Vigneron sauce) - ordered medium-rare but served rare (the way I like it). Simply seasoned and very tender. The wine sauce didn't add much in my opinion. The vegetables were stewed almost like a ratatouille. The potatoes were thin and crisp but strangely they had inflated and were like balloons and empty inside. Still good!;
- Cotes d'agneau aux herbes de Provence (lamb ribs grilled in wood fire) - lamb ribs were in fact a cutlet and a chop, magnificently soft, pink and tender and flavoured with herbs. The accompaniments were the same as the beef;
- Mesclun au chevre chaud (green salad with warm goat cheese) - by this time I was very full. The moderately strong cheese came on a slightly unnecessary piece of bread (well necessary to balance the flavour but unnecessary extra carbohydrates/food);
- Tarte aux pommes (apple pie cooked in wood fire) - sadly the wood fire dessert was a disappointment. It was cold (ie. wood fired long ago) with ok apples, but terrible base that was hard, firm and thick. Really bad;
- Chocolate cake with orange - on the other hand this one was ok, but very sweet.

Overall the meal was excellent, with only the dessert being a disappointment. Next time I would order the Cigale menu again with the soup de poissons, lamb or the excellent smelling (from the greedy next table) gratinated lasagna, and try the wood fire creme caramel.