The Menton coastline
Menton is known as the Pearl of France. If you ask me, it's because there are many old people there :-). Anyway, I've always wanted to visit Menton - I've a thing for towns built near frontiers and Menton is just across from Italy and beautifully situated on the French Riviera. In fact, it only became definitively French in the 2nd half of the 19th century and lucky for them too as they escaped from having to eat pasta all the time. And in return they get better bread.
Nearing the town centre
You guessed it, I was speaking for us, of course. We stopped at Menton for lunch. Finding parking was a nightmare in this charming, chic and really pretty town and we found a solution by going to a recommended hotel-restaurant with its own parking. Hotel Aiglon is a 3-star hotel in a lovely old building situated just across from the beach and it even has a small pool.
They had a small menu, but it was enough for us since we found what we liked and the food was nicely presented and tasted as good as it looked. The beauty of many French restaurants, I've nearly forgotten, is the availability of reasonably-priced menus for both lunch and dinner and best of all, a special menu for children. Whether it's a small bistro or a 3-star Michelin restaurant, you will usually find a menu for your kids.
Little Fried Fish with Young Salad Leaves - 1st course
We also missed having our dish arrive with the "right" vegetables/garnishing. In Italy, you usually have to order a side dish to go with your fish or meat and very often it would be too much. Like I love pasta - but not always as a big first course.
The kids' Steak Tartare
Filet de Lieu, Rice and Crunchy Vegetables
You also realise how expensive Modena is when you start eating in France (maybe Paris excepted). The price of a main dish may look more expensive in a typical French restaurant - but it's a net price. Taxes, service and cover charges are already included. And bottled water may be very expensive - but tap water is free. Just to say that we lunched quite grandly in a rather chic restaurant, but paid the same as we usually did for a typical restaurant in Modena.
Fondant au Chocolat
Even the diesel is generally cheaper in this part of France. On that day, it was 1,169 cents per litre of diesel in Modena; we paid 1,12 cents per litre in Menton! Considering that Italian salaries are usually lower than French ones, you wonder how they get on...
We didn't stay too long in Menton as we had to drive to SIL's for dinner. Needless to say we were caught in a massive traffic jam just after lunch and turned up at Belcastel more than 2 hours later than planned.
7 Av. Madone06500 Menton, France
Tel : 04 93 57 55 55