Spartan comforts (very little space between the tables, barely padded barstools), unfriendly staff, uninteresting décor (an odd drapery hanging from the ceiling, disparate artwork…), rough wines (Côtes-de-Provence Domaine de Matourac for €6 a glass)…. But mamma miam, what incredible pasta! Cooked in person (and like no one else) by Dominique Le Stanc, the former head chef at Negresco puts his own spin on the local culinary patrimony with a moving menu: Menton tart (like a pissaladière minus the anchovies), polenta with Gorgonzola, stockfish on Wednesdays (a cod ragout), veal tripe, oxtail à l’orange and a delicious Provençal beef stew served with good, fat panisses. To finish the meal, there’s no more lemon tart but there is a baked apple topped with a ladle of raw cream. À la carte €30-41. No cards, no telephone, but you should head over beforehand and reserve anyways. // J.G.