La Favola Restaurant on the Cours Saleya

La Favola Restaurant, 13, Cours Saleya, Old Nice, France

Tel: 04 93 04 45 23

On the corner of the Cours and rue Louis Gassin:- Map or scroll to end of post

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La Favola is an Italian restaurant occupying the corner of the Cour Saleya and rue Louis Gassin, a couple of steps from its sister restaurant, La Voglia. Although it's new for 2009, it is already building a good reputation with several favourable mentions in the Nice forum.

La Voglia, a relative newcomer to the Cours, already has an established reputation for good food and large portions. La Favola seems to be headed the same way. It's a large restaurant with outdoor terrace which spreads across under the market awnings, freshened by a sea breeze funnelled through a nearby archway.

The day we went for lunch, there was no breeze and the temp was in the mid-30s, Nice is having a heat wave or canicule this summer and although it feels wrong to be inside on a sunny day we passed on the terrace and took the air-conditioned option. There are two levels, we went upstairs and took a seat by the window.

Seating in the dining rooms is mostly semi-booths - with white padded banquettes supplemented with a few chairs. The decor is a teen-boy bedroom palette of black, silver and red or maybe a tribute to the local footie team strip, not really my taste but it's all new and fresh, no expense spared etc. There was a reassuring glimpse of large open kitchens on the way to our table.

The menus don't give much away, I ordered La Belle Salade 'Favola' (13,50 euros) without much idea what it might contain. Turned out to be parma ham, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, melon and avocado plus usual salad-y stuff. My daughter who always wants fillet steak had La Tagliata de Boeuf sur lit Riquette (22 euros) - which sounds as though it might come with pasta but in fact turned out to be quite plain - just strips of rare-cooked steak on salad - a bit too Atkins for my taste but I guess the bread basket would bridge the carb deficit. My husband had 'Il Grande Fritto Misto di Pesce' (24 euros) - an assortment of battered fish - some whole, and ugly with it, plus salad.

My salad was enormous and perfect. Looking around at other diners, this Salade belle Favola and huge bowls of pasta seemed to be the popular choices.

At this point we knew it wasn't going to be a budget lunch so we had a rush of blood to the head and ordered a bottle of Bandol at 25 euros. Plus several carafes of free water.

It felt a bit pricey to us as we usually have a baguette on our balcony, the weak pound doesn't help either - pizzas averaging about 12,50 euros, salads around 14,50 euros and pasta dishes between 12 and 20 euros. Fish and Beef dishes were around 24 euros. However, the prices are very comparable with other restaurants on the Cours Saleya and the portions were huge, it's a prime location, service excellent and it's a good safe clean bet in the very heart of the tourist beaten track.

For pudding, we ordered Le Gros Pot. This dish actually came with a hint - Tout Chocolat - essayer de le finir!!! - all chocolate - try and finish it!!! My daughter accepted the challenge and failed but no matter as we had requested 3 spoons and helped her out when she faltered. It was three layers of chocolate mousse, dark, milk and white, decorated with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate spirals. It was 9 euros but we decided that 3 euros each for a shared pudding sounded better value. 8 euros was the average price of the puddings.

Bottles of wine started around 18 euros with many in the 23 euro range, large glasses of wine were 4,50 euros and a cup of espresso to finish was 2 euros. The bill came to just about 100 euros, quite high, but we had picked expensive dishes and wine.

A couple having pasta, a bottle of house wine and a coffee would pay around 54 euros or add an extra 9 euros to share the Gros Pot chocolate pudding.

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