Oh my god, we had such a fabulous-and-wonderful-in-every-single-way dinner last night. It more than made up for the day of pouring rain, wait, did I say pouring, I meant POURING rain. By the time we went out to find our restaurant though, the sun had come out and it was lovely. When we arrived at Oliviera, the owner (dressed like a bee in a yellow and black striped shirt and suspenders) greeted us at the door himself, apparently he knew the names of everybody who had reservations, there were only 10 tables so maybe it was not a feat of memory.
He was very funny, gregarious and knowledgable. He knew English, German and French, of course, and probably Arabic, since he was Lebanese. He is famous for his olive oil. Not just his own but he pairs every meal with different oil based on the flavor of the oil. He said, “The food is just OK, the olive oil makes it great.” I’m not sure about that but he did pour olive oil on everything and it was remarkable.
The meal started with a fresh stuffed zucchini flower liberally dressed with olive oil, of course. There were chive blossoms, asaragus, tomatoes (I think they were kumatoes, not the cold hard pink ones everyone else serves at this time of the year….he discussed tomatoes with the table next to us. He grows his own and does not serve tomatoes as a course unless they are in season), beans, zuchhini and little flowers of various sorts. It was beautiful and wonderful. I had home made sausages on lentils and Ashish had stuffed eggplant. Both were fabulous. We were too full for dessert though.
To me this experience alone was worth the trip to Nice. The tab for both of us was $88 and that included a bottle of (Lebanese!) wine. And the meal was amazing.