Restaurant Review: Seen in Nice

Restaurant Review: Seen in Nice

A new rooftop bar and restaurant dazzles Nice with its original menu and fun atmosphere.

Is pretty, palmy and rather, well, sedate Nice ready for a Miami Beach style makeover? The Thailand-based Minor Hotel group thinks so, since it just relaunched one of the Riviera’s most famous hotels, the 1850 vintage Plaza. Now known as the Anantara Plaza, after a top-to-bottom renovation designed to appeal to style-driven, free-spending Instagrammers as much as the city’s traditional clientele of middle-aged European sun-seekers, the hotel is crowned with a sixth-floor roof-top bar and restaurant that lets you gape at the Med while scarfing down a seriously good cocktail – do not miss brilliant Italian bartender Marco Stella’s superb socca sour, an ode to the famous Niçoise street food of chickpea flour crêpes, which goes down a treat at the bar before migrating to a meal at Seen, the adjacent restaurant.

Seen is run by Portuguese chef Olivier da Costa’s Olivier restaurant group, a growing chain with tables in Portugal, Brazil, France, Thailand and the UK. After opening Seen restaurants in São Paulo, Lisbon, Bangkok and Ko Samui, Nice was chosen as the fifth location for this shrewdly conceived international comfort-food concept.

“People come here as much to have a good time as a good meal,” our waiter told us the night we dined here, adding: “What’s great is that here you get both.” Lounge music, low lighting and a good-looking service staff set the mood, and the eclectic menu caters to an impressive declension of gastronomic self-indulgence.

Start off with fish tacos, escargots, octopus carpaccio or foie gras terrine with cocoa or chose from a terrific menu of sushi, sashimi, makis and other Japanese treats. The sushi chefs are so good, you might be tempted to make a meal of their craft, and you could if you wanted to, but spaghetti with lobster and Wagyu beef with chimichurri sauce are other temptations.

For our part, we ate our own weight in the sushi chef’s beautifully crafted rolls and sashimi, and then shared a Wagyu steak, which was wonderfully succulent, with wilted spinach and perfect frites.

Our Château de Bellet white from Nice’s very own vineyards was a perfect choice to accompany this meal, which we concluded with a shared piece of yuzu cheesecake. Seen is a lot of fun, and that’s precisely the point.

A good time and a good meal go hand in hand at the Anantara Plaza in Nice

Seen, 12 Avenue de Verdun, Nice, Tel. (33) 04 93 16 75 75

Average à la carte €70

From France Today magazine

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Alexander Lobrano grew up in Connecticut, and lived in Boston, New York and London before moving to Paris, his home today, in 1986. He was European Correspondent for Gourmet magazine from 1999 until its closing, and has written about food and travel for Saveur, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Travel & Leisure, Departures, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the author of HUNGRY FOR PARIS, 2nd Edition (Random House, 4/2014), HUNGRY FOR FRANCE (Rizzoli, 4/2014), and MY PLACE AT THE TABLE, newly published in June 2021.

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