Over the summer season, travel journalist Tristan Rutherford sends Y.CO a postcard each weekend as he travels around Europe’s top superyacht destinations.
Cap d’Antibes, 11 August 2012
It’s 112 years since France’s culinary bible, the Guide Michelin, began. Rubber tycoon André Michelin published the first ‘red guide’ in August 1900 and gave it away for free.
Foodie philanthropist? Not a bit of it. Monsieur Michelin hoped to start a new trend in ‘motorcar touring’, which would offer a business boost to his tyre depot in central France.
The guide, to use a modern term, went viral. The Michelin family started charging for the publication in 1920. Six years later they added a star system. One star for ‘very good cuisine’. Two for ‘excellent cuisine, worth a detour’. And three for ‘exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey’. The company’s red guide garnered as much publicity for Michelin as its Formula 1 racing car tyres.
If there’s one place to put this gastro guidebook through its paces, it’s on the French Riviera. The single Michelin star restaurant Bacon is a fine example. When the noblesse oblige of the Cap d’Antibes dress for dinner, this spot is where they go.
This venerable establishment offers a seafood selection of Poseidonic proportions, wrapped with Parisian levels of service and sophistication. Lunch is a competitive €49. À la carte dinners can add up to the price of a small car.
Like many restaurants on the Cote d’Azur, Bacon started life as a simple seafood shack. Back in the 1940s, the Buffet de Bacon sold tuna sandwiches, beer and bouillabaisse, the rich seafood stew famous in the South of France. This latter recipe was perfected over the next 30 years, resulting in a Michelin star in 1979.
Three decades on, Bacon’s bouillabaisse is regarded as the finest in France, and its silverware is worthy of Le Meurice. Today’s menu is a fruits de mer extravaganza of wild seabass and scorpion fish, baked or buttered lobster, and a bevy of delicate raw seafood delights.
Wish you were here…