When the tall basket of produce arrived on our table we thought, “Really?”
Yes, we really were expected to pull out that hard-boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, celery stalk and other veggies of choice and get to slicing, dicing and cracking. That’s the usual make-your-own-salad drill at Le Maschou in Cannes, France, and we loved it.
Well, at least I did. My husband was less enamored with the idea of becoming sous chef for the night. The InterContintental Carlton Hotel recommended Le Maschou, which we found up the romantic, narrow cobblestone street of Rue Saint Antoine.
It’s a small place with about 10 tables inside spilling onto a balcony that accommodates just a few more.
The concierge suggested a smoke-free table away from the fireplace, where they cook three meats - beef, lamb and chicken. Our candlelit table’s location on the perimeter of the “inside” portion of the restaurant was ideally situated, allowing us to enjoy watching the people stroll by and the twilight transition into night.
For our meal, we chose the beef and lamb. Both had the perfect charring and were rare, but not what we’d call French rare, which is more like tartare to us.
Because I’m a salt addict, I appreciated that they served the meats with their own blend of seasoning salt that could be generously spooned on top.
The simple menu and casual feel satisfied what we craved after a few nights of more fancy-schmancy meals. But be warned: The prix fixe dinner provides ample portions - from the welcome sangria with chunks of edible orange rind floating in the glass to the final bowl full of chocolate mousse or other dessert of choice.
Come hungry and ready to find your inner chef. It’s worth the caloric splurge and making your own salad.