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“A once in a lifetime experience...”
Review of La Petite Maison

La Petite Maison
Ranked #1,431 of 2,149 Restaurants in Nice
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Old Town / Vieux Nice
Reviewed 27 August 2015

One immediately knows that something special awaits when, a couple of days before the big day, one calls the restaurant to confirm a reservation which has been made several weeks in advance. A sort of conversational quick-step begins when I confirm that I have a reservation, but want to double check whether it is for 8pm or 8:30pm. “What time would you like” comes the reply; “What time is the reservation for?” I respond; “Well what time would you like?” again they ask… After 2 minutes of this back and forth I confirm that our party of 5 will be there at 8pm and hang up with a growing sense of anticipation (or was it trepidation…). The day itself arrives and in our best glad-rags we made our way over to the restaurant; the follow up to the telephone tango did not disappoint. Upon arrival at the restaurant we walked through the front terrace up to the main reception whereupon I was reassured to see that, given recent terrorist activity around the world, they obviously took clients’ safety very seriously – we were greeted by a row of stony faced security personnel, cunningly disguised as waiters, who scrutinized us up and down before parting to reveal the manager, the formidable “Nicole”, described by the French press as a “personality”… With her diminutive head of security by her side, she glanced over at us and, as Emperor Titus, waived her thumb in the direction of a table delightfully situated just off the main entrance, at the foot of a large staircase, laid for 4 people. While I was particularly enchanted by the proximity to the stairwell, the view of the service hatch, and the close physical contact this location afforded us of people entering and leaving the restaurant as well as the comings and goings in the stairwell, what sold me was the fact that this was a multi-functional table featuring a large bread hamper at one end, which the waiters frequently flocked to whilst replenishing clients’ bread baskets. My party, however, were less impressed and stated that not only was the table not set up for 5, but that it was terribly located and that we would prefer another one in the room which at this stage still stood half empty (8pm). It was at this stage that we could fully appreciate the French sense of humour, so often misunderstood. Our request raised a reaction tinged with hilarity and horror. The Lady herself, followed by her diminutive minion, walked among the empty tables, pointing randomly and audibly muttering how this one was booked for “Mr Le Juge”, and the other for “Mr le Prefet”. Whilst we truly appreciated the guided tour of “who’s who” of the restaurant seating plan, this did little to help our case and, still standing in the middle of the restaurant waiting to be seated, my party were growing impatient. After a few more minutes Nicole muttered that there were no other available tables, which the minion repeated as the words had not been spoken to us directly, to which he added that this was a very good table. I am sure that Mr Le Prefet, when he finally arrived at the restaurant, asked to be moved given that our table was so much better than the one that had been earmarked for him! I do hope that Nicole did not feel slighted by our decision to turn down their kind offer of such a delightful table, I myself am rather partial to an animated dining experience and enjoy the feeling of people jostling my chair throughout a meal, watching the activity around the service hatch, and having fresh bread so readily available. I particularly appreciated the manner with which, as we were leaving the restaurant, one of the waiters uttered “see you soon” with a charming smirk on his face. As for the food, I unfortunately cannot comment on this, which is a shame given that La Petite Maison in London is one of our favourite restaurants, however if the food is on par with the service at this Nice establishment, I would go as far as saying that this is an experience which cannot be equaled...

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13  Thank zeddy2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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279 - 283 of 1,563 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2015

As fans of the London restaurant, we were looking forward to visiting the 'original' in Nice, and had booked 3 months in advance for a treat on the last night of our holiday. On arriving at 8 p.m. we were shown to quite the worst table (stairs/service area) in a largely empty room. We politely asked for a different table and were met with the diffidence and lack of charm that even Parisian waiters have grown out of.
We did not eat there.
BrianSA

8  Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2015 via mobile

Overrated overpriced ridiculous lack of service.The owner is only interested in the rich and famous who visit , no one else is worth a second glance.Requests for reservations are regularly turned down with amazing rudeness. Why anyone would bother more than once I cannot fathom..The food if you ever get to it is good but nothing special.and the prices do not match...Do yourself a favour and give it a miss.There is better and friendlier in town..

4  Thank Helene B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2015

I was allowed to take a sit at this supposed to be good restaurant but refused to stay once I found out that the couple before me was sent away given their physical aspect ( the owner did explicitly defined them as ugly ) and after the owner made comments on my nationality. It is not the best food in town, it is not the best atmosphere and service in town and I am not sure what should be the driver to sit in such unpleasant place. If you are a super star or super rich you will definitely be very welcome, the average tourist will be admitted only if beautiful or if the lady that owns the place is ok with the country of origins. Madame you are neither elegant nor have a strong business acumen not sure what to suggest to improve...maybe try staying a little human.

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3  Thank Vita T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2015

We were recommended to try this place by a local guide we had hired. The whole evening was outstanding. The food was terrific, the people watching was outstanding, and the service was excellent. Other reviewers mentioned the owner/hostess as eccentric and possibly rude; we saw her as part of the experience and enjoyed her interaction with guests, especially the locals. She ushered them around the place the same as the tourists. The wealthy, diamond-studded, fashionable, French guests were treated no differently than we were. We all received excellent service and a wonderful meal.
We so enjoyed the entire evening. I have it in my electronic travel folder so as to make sure that this place in visited again when in Nice.

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Thank BatTraveler001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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