Updated: Mar 2
We found Racines restaurant by accident; several times a week, we'd walk right by it on our way to our favorite vegetable seller at the Malaussena market, and one day, we were compelled to stop and look at the menu. We couldn't believe what we saw: nothing but vegetables! On deeper inspection, we noticed that one or two menu items had cheese and one had eggs, but the rest all appeared to be vegan. We decided to pop in and ask about making a dinner reservation.
It was mid-day and nearly all of the 7 or so tables were filled, including half of a large communal table. We liked the ambiance and made a reservation with the helpful server for later that evening. When we arrived, there were one other couple sitting at a table, and another couple who entered right before us was being seated. A moment later, the friendly server who took our reservation earlier in the day was now taking our coats and hanging them up for us, while we eased into our seats and perused the menu. A moment later, fresh bread and a small dish with olives and radishes arrived. We ordered wine--an organic Muscadet and and something from the Languedoc region--and then asked for the servers advice on the vegan dishes we should try.
We decided to start with the raw artichoke salad, which is a regional specialty. This version was sauced to the ponit of being drenched in olive oil, but yet didn't tast oily! Our favorite, though, was the brocoletti, which was charred and crispy in places, tender in others. The server poured a olive-oil vinaigrette over the top, and olives and crushed tomatoes added a bright flavor to the dish.
For our main courses, we ordered the trophie--tiny homemade pasta--which was served with delicate spring vegetables, including fava beans and baby zucchini. And the piece de resistance was the crispy potato dish served with a vegetable purre and a generous shaving of black truffles. It was divine!
We would have loved some more interesting desserts, but we went ahead and ordered the two vegan options, which were poached pears with candied nuts and an unbelievably flavorsome mandarin orange sorbet with candied zest. What a great end to the meal!
Actually, the real end of the meal was the two dessert wines we ordered. Next time, we'll ask how much they cost, because at 13 and 14 euro per glass (and the pours were teeny-tiny!), they ended up costing more than the food! (Most dishes on the menu are priced around 10 euro, with the exception of the truffle dishes, which were roughly twice as expensive as everything else.) The menu features quite a few affordable vegan and organic wines by the glass for between 5 and 7 euro. We recommend this little gem of a restaurant the next time you're in Nice. And maybe by the time you try it, they'll have even more vegan options on the menu! RACINES 3 Rue Clément Roassal, 06000 Nice +33 04 93 76 86 17 Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays