Yesterday I took advantage of a beautiful sunny spring day to visit Nice and wanted to try somewhere a bit different for lunch, so a friend of mine brought me to Attimi, one of his favourites… Now I understand why!
The area in which Attimi (which means “Moments” in Italian) is located is extremely central but very touristy, which generally means that the quality of the location is inverse proportional to the quality of the food: just off Place Massena on the southern side of the Promenade du Paillon, at the entrance of Old Nice and a short stroll away from the Promenade des Anglais. In general, when I see a large colourful terrace in the heart of Nice packed with tourists, I do the opposite of the aforementioned tourists and escape.
However, a quick chat with Fabio, the friendly owner from Alassio, just down the coast in Liguria, Italy, quickly removed these doubts though: his concept is to bring quality Italian “slow food” to Nice. As its name indicates, this concept, that originated in Piemonte, Italy (also ironically the kingdom that dominated Nice for several centuries) is the antithesis of fast food, involving authentic recipes, local ingredients and mainly taking one’s time both to prepare and enjoy the meal to the full.
The menu is simple enough, mainly with pizza, pasta, salads and main courses, but the attention to detail can be seen through the ingredients which are all “DOP” (Protected Denomination of Origin) from the various regions of Italy.
I was particularly hungry so decided to go for an “Autumn” pizza with speck, brie and porcini followed by porcini cannelloni with veal sausage meat. Both were absolutely delicious, especially the pizza which has an incredibly crispy and tasty base, thanks to the use of Evian mineral water and organic flour. My friend’s Quattro Formaggi (4 cheese) pizza also seemed to do the business quite nicely!
I didn’t have the time to experience the desserts but the house rosé was good and the service was efficient and friendly, despite it being rather busy on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Prices are all round standard for Nice and especially that part of town, we’re looking at between 12 and 15€ for a pizza and the same for a pasta dish. There are also speciality meat and fish dishes (such as Piemontese steak tartare and tagliata or octopus salad) which range from 18€ to 30€, so for just a main, a dessert and some wine, expect to pay anywhere between 25€ and 40€. Compared to Italian prices, this place is certainly not cheap, but it’s probably as close you’ll get to genuine Italian quality in the south of France.
I for one was pretty impressed and will be happy to return to taste some of the other dishes, as Attimi is definitely not a typical run of the mill Italian tourist trap. And once you’re done with your meal, the central location means that you can easily go to explore Old Nice and the Promenade du Paillon!
Practical information: Attimi, 10 place Massena, Nice
Tel : +33 (0)4 93 62 00 22, www.attimi.fr, open every day from 12pm to midnight.
Important disclaimer: this restaurant review, like all restaurant reviews and recommendations on the French Riviera Blog, is totally subjective and is in no way sponsored by the establishment (either financially or with freebies). Any sponsored links are clearly indicated as such on the blog to avoid any ambiguity. If there are any restaurant owners who would like me to review their establishment, please get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to visit – if I enjoy the meal, I’ll write a review.