Hope you all had a brilliant Easter Weekend. Where did March go!? Last week we took some time out to spend a weekend in the south of France. As those of you who follow me on Instagram may remember, this time last year we stayed in Monaco at the Hotel Hermitage. This year we opted for Nice, but with Monaco just a short train ride away we had to spend a day there and I was really excited to try out the iconic Rampoldi restaurant.
Rampoldi is somewhere I’ve passed by and admired many times, situated in Monte Carlo moments from Casino Square and the famous Formula One hairpin bend. The restaurant itself dates back to 1946, and has seen the likes of Princess Grace and Roger Moore dine there.
Diners have the option to dine on the heated sun terrace and watch the world go by (along with the odd supercar!) or in the restaurant with it’s stunning crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and white tablecloths to the sounds of chilled jazz music.
I met my good friend Rebecca for lunch there, who now lives and works in the Cote D’azur (I’m not at all jealous of her life) and kicked things off with a glass of champagne, (when in Monaco..) which arrived with miniature pizza slices to nibble on while we looked at the menu. Fabulous!
Rather than ordering à la carte, we opted to go with Rampoldi Executive Chef Antonio Salvatore’s recommendations based on the finest quality ingredients and regional, seasonal produce. Antonio originates from the southern Italian region of Basilicata, and started working in restaurants at the age of 12. He is a San Pellegrino Young Chef finalist who’s culinary skills have seen him head hunted by top restaurants all over the world – so we were in safe hands. We started with red tuna, served with white truffles, roasted peppers and caviar. It was fresh, light and full of flavour.For our main course, Antonio served the most beautifully cooked salmon, which was absolutely delicious – on a bed of green beans with a tasty black truffle sauce.Dessert was baked pineapple with cinnamon, a kick of pepper and topped with a lemon and basil jelly and coconut ice-cream. Oh my days… if Monaco did a take on a Pina Colada this would be it in dessert form – you need to try it!I rounded things off with a coffee which was served along with an ornately carved wooden box of coffee beans which revealed a selection of charming petit fours.Throughout the meal the Rampoldi staff were friendly and attentive and the vibe in the restaurant was welcoming, warm and relaxed. A little insider tip for you – downstairs past the bathrooms there’s a cigar and music lounge, which has 100 wooden chests belonging to it’s members – one of which has the Royal Crest of House Grimaldi on it because it belongs to Prince Albert II of Monaco!I’ll definitely be returning to Rampoldi in the summer, that terrace is calling!
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