Pure & V
Best sophistroquet of 2019
If Alice had to go through the other side of the Niçois looking glass, she would certainly wind up in the serene dining room of Pure & V with its mere six tables. Here, you don’t need any LSD to join the White Rabbit, just some pure cuisine d’auteur that’s both inspired and enthusiastic, much like the greeting you’ll receive from Vanessa Massé (a sommelier who worked most notably for In de Wulf and Veranda), who is passionate about dealing out her bottles of natural wine. The night we went, chef Mathias Silberbauer (ex-Relae in Copenhagen) worked hard to make Viking lighting strike the sublime local ingredients (fish from Tony Dijan, vegetables from Jean-Louis Ruggieri…) for the tasting menu (€110) packed with high voltage treats: raw asparagus with hazelnuts and basil; seductively fresh and tasty lamb tartare; lovely sea bream in a summer dressing of elderberry blossoms; mackerel ceviche with kohlrabi and radish; explosive gnocchi bewitched with fresh peas; an exquisite combo of flash-seared hake with sesame oil and a broth with a thousand flavors; and a masterful cut of lamb, cooked to medium-rare perfection. Before a creamy verbena coulis and a sublime pairing of white chocolate, cherries, sage and grated Parmesan for dessert. To drink: a natural wine from Pierre Overnoy in the Jura (€7 a glass) or a magnificent Loire white from Alexandre Bain (€55 a bottle). Dish of the day €17 (lunch). Menu €40-60-110. // L.S.