God I am tired. I don't know if it was the dancing or the long day yesterday. I barely wanted to move today. My leg muscles screamed out - stay home. But I knew it would probably be best to move.
I didn't get a chance to investigate the market in Cour Saleya in Nice last weekend. Plus I saw several interesting little vendors selling items I wanted to try. So I forced myself out of bed, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed back down to catch the bus to Nice. The market is everyday but Monday until a little after 12:00pm. Luck was on my side and the bus pulled up shortly after I arrived at the stop. 45 minutes after leaving my apartment, I was in Nice.
I hope they renovate the bus station in Nice some day. It is so depressing. I know most bus stations are pretty depressing but this one is a concrete covered parking lot. I've only been there on Sunday and the office is closed. Along the side the street is torn up with construction for the tram which doesn't help.
Anyway, I cross though the road work and I'm immediately into the old town. I'm not completely certain where I am but I just decide to walk and follow the way most people are walking. Soon I recognize Place Rossetti and the Cathdrale de Ste Reparte. People are darting around shopping or siting and drinking an express. I continue on towards the Cours and I pass the fresh pasta places that I had seen last time. One is beautiful. There are large tortellini - triangular shaped hats in multiple colors. There is also gnocchi, merde di can - spinach (or chard) flavored gnocchi, which is dark green/grey. It's name translates to 'dog shit'. It sounds unappetizing but looks good.
The market is crowded. People shuffle along looking and taking the offerings of the marketers. Fresh olives, fresh melons for the tasting. It is fig season and they are beautiful. Some are presented in baskets with a fig leaf. There are also bakers, cheese makers, socca vendors, flower vendors. I decide to buy a fragrant melon - just over 2 euros. Then I head back to the pasta vendors. At the intersection of Rue Ste Repartate and Rue de la Prefecture - it is gourmet heaven. There are two fresh pasta vendors. Raviolis Maison Tosello and across the street is Raviolis Barali.
On my last trip in 2000, I had some wonderful raviolis with a sauce daube. I have been dreaming of those raviolis ever since. Both of the shops had daube sauce - It is a sauce made from pot roast and dried mushrooms, herb seasoned and with a bit of tomato flavoring. Excellent! I decided on the ravioli nicoise and sauce daube at Raviolis Barali.
Across the street is La Poulette - They sell both roasted chicken and fresh poultry. The whole rabbits are always hard to look at but the roasted chicken smelled wonderful. They also sell a wide variety of cheese. I decided on a fresh local goat cheese. It was hard to decide since I really enjoyed the fresh Banon Tomme I had last week.
Also on Rue Ste Repartate, were several other small gourmet shops. Fresh roasted coffee at Cafe Indenes and cookies by the ounce at La Cure Gourmande. Near by were also several fresh ice creme shops including Fenocchio. I had my fixings for dinner.
But before I head back to Villefranche, there was one more museum to visit. Close by wa MAMAC, the modern art museum. I really enjoyed it. The building itself is very interesting. It is a round building built over a street and open in the middle. Escalators take you up the floors. It felt very similar to the Koohaus design for the Seattle Library. The galleries are open rooms which were good to display the diverse modern art work. Bridges take you between the two halves and cross above the street. I really enjoyed Niki de St. Phalle retrospective. I want to go back again when G is here.
It took longer to get back to Villefranche. The cruise ships are in, church is out and everyone is headed for the beach or Monaco. There was a traffic jam and the bus stopped for a while a bit outside of VSM. I slowly trudged up the hill and spent the rest of the afternoon resting and doing homework.
For dinner, the ravioli were as wonderful as I remember. They had a touch of spice - I think cloves are in them. The daube sauce was excellent. I'm definitely going back next week for another take out.
You can read more about Gourmet Nice in this article from France Today.