Located in the depressing grey streets around the Royal Courts, Cigalon is an inviting environment to enjoy some good heart-warming food. With its high ceiling, ornate chandeliers and pale pink banquettes, the décor is calming and welcoming. At one end of the dining room is an open kitchen, which adds to an informal feeling.
Once seated, tapenade is served to whet your appetite. Tapenade rather than butter because Cigalon is a restaurant that celebrates cuisine from Provence. You’ll figure this out pretty quickly after you glance over the menu with dishes like salad Niçoise salad and pissaladièreA thin local pizza with tomatoes anchovies and black olives making an appearance. Though, there are a lot of other non-Provençal dishes on the menu so if you’re looking for a purely authentic local menu, you might be best to try elsewhere.
Having said that, all dishes on offer are appealing. As a starter though, you should definitely try the steamed courgette with spicy quinoa and pistouA cold sauce made from garlic, fresh basil and olive oil. For your main course, dedicated carnivores should ask for the rack of lamb or the beef ongletA French cut of beef, known as flank steak in English. As these are grilled, there’s no special recipe but you’ll really appreciate the quality and flavour of the meat. For a side, go for the black olive mash, which is really tasty.
It’s also worth noting is that although this is a French restaurant, vegetarians haven’t been forgotten and will be pleased with the roasted artichokes, cauliflower mash and some delicious sautéed girollesGirolle is a mushroom from the same family as Chanterelles or Cantharellus. It has a fruity smell and a peppery taste, and is considered as one of the best food mushrooms. .
To get the most out of Cigalon, choose from the a la carte, rather than the set menu. Though either way, you’ll get very good value for money.