MIRAZUR COTE D’AZUR LUXURY DREAM OFF THE TOURIST TRACK

by Gianluca Errico MENTON. In Cote d’Azur is a luxury dream off the tourist track like the Mirazur in Menton, hidden on a hilltop high above the sea on the French side of the Riviera, just moments from the Italian border. Mirazur is a terrace restaurant that spread over three levels with its own citrus grove and avocado trees, a vegetable garden and even a patch for wild herbs and edible flowers. The elegant, spacious, light- drenched dining room commands a panoramic view of the sea and of the town of Menton through the large windows running all the way around. The 1950s building was remodelled by Londonian Rick Mather and Italian Vittorio Grassi to  form a new restaurant, bar and tea room seating 310 people, with external garden spaces featuring a new cocktail terrace and a covered timber deck.

The original sketch by Rick Mather & Vittorio Grassi Architects
The original sketch by Rick Mather & Vittorio Grassi Architects

Cantilevered stairs link to the garden, and new concrete stairs in a double-height volume link the bar and reception to the restaurant below. The external facades have full height openings and frameless windows in order to increase transparency and allow spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the town of Menton.

 

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Last spring the popular and well-respected food blogger Pim Techamuanvivit, following a friend’s recommendation, tracked down this restaurant. Mirazur is an idyllic spot to enjoy the food of the skilled chef Mauro Colagreco, which takes inspiration from his Argentine-Italian heritage as well as the local French region. Colagreco headed to France in 2001 as a newly qualified chef, working with Bernard Loiseau until his death in 2003. He then worked with 50 Best regulars Alain Passard at Arpège and Alain Ducasse at Hotel Plaza Athénée before spending a year at Le Grand Véfour. In 2006, he established Mirazur, earning his first Michelin star within a year and a second in 2012. Also, he was named Chef of the Year in 2009 by Gault-Millau, becoming the first non-French chef to be given that title. The just forty-one years old super-talented chef born 5 october 1976 in La Plata – Argentina serves the freshest produce in his adopted French paradise.

Chef Mauro Colagreco plates dishes with his staff in Mirazur kitchen
Chef Mauro Colagreco plates dishes with his staff in Mirazur kitchen

With ingredients coming from Colagreco’s own backyard farm and the market of Ventimiglia, diners can expect a feast of flavoursome products from just-picked heirloom vegetables to sparklingly fresh seafood. Courses might include monkfish with topinambur puree and Piedmont hazelnuts, or anchovy fillets on fried anchovy skeletons with juice from Menton’s famous lemons. Colagreco’s signature of oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear is a modern classic in the making. Mauro prepares also three tasting menus of exquisite dishes. First come the tapas – a tiny lacy crisp of squid-ink rice and finely diced vegetables; a shot of yellow gazpacho – followed by starters such as risotto made with red quinoa and wild cèpes. A basket of fresh bread arrives accompanied by a heavenly pool of Colagreco’s own lemon-ginger olive oil. Mains include coquilles Saint-Jacques with fennel ice cream, and mackerel with an orange and carrot purée. The surprises continue with an array of refreshingly light desserts such as the show-stopping coriander-cream cannelloni encased in spun sugar and served with yogurt ice cream.

Multi starred Chef Mauro Colagreco choosing vegetables at Ventimiglia Market
Multi starred Chef Mauro Colagreco choosing vegetables at Ventimiglia Market

 Colagreco has been in France for almost 20 years and recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Mirazur, but he has other projects making waves back in Argentina with Carne, a hamburger chain, and he also owns Grand Coeur, a brasserie and restaurant in Paris. The volcanic chef is custom-designing suitable menu for receptions, cocktail parties, private dinners, openings, weddings. Together with his team Mauro makes every occasion memorable, whether in a private villa, on board a yacht or in an unusual setting; or of course at the Mirazur restaurant, which can be entirely booked, offering a seating capacity ranging from 250 for dinner and up to 500 for a cocktail reception. Among his most important custom-designed events, we recall the followings: in June 2014, he commanded the gala-dinner presided by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, for 160 guests in the occasion of the Exposition “Sharks and Humanity” that seized the universal language of Art to raise public awareness across borders and cultures.

 

Prince Albert II of Monaco at the opening of Shark&Humanity Exibition in May 2014
Prince Albert II of Monaco at the opening of Shark&Humanity Exibition in May 2014

 

In July 2014 he supervised a VIP anniversary dinner for 60 guests in a private villa in Saint Tropez; in Aout 2014 he organized breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktails receptions in the occasion of the four-days launch of the new Boucheron Collection; in Bari-Italy in September 2014 Mauro created a special decor for a stunning Indian wedding on the beach with an entirely vegetarian menu for 700 guests…in the same month he brought his staff and his competence for a private dinner for forty guests in a London Mansion. In the occasion of the launch of the new cruise Dior collection at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de- Vence in May 2015, Mauro organized for the Press and for the House’s best customers a lunch for 170 guests and a dinner for 210 guests.

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In June 2015, he organized two dinners for Van Cleef&Arpels exclusive clientele at the Villa Key Largo – Cap d’Ail for 20 guests and at the Yacht Club of Monaco for 70 guests. Mauro Colagreco has developed a complete collection of traditional first cold-pressed olive oil for the HUILERIE SAINT-MICHEL situated at the rue de Bréa 5 in Old Menton, including Menton lemon, lemon-ginger and lemon-Sichuan pepper.

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Mirazur Restaurant set lunch €33; set dinner €55/€105 – For more information
and a personalised estimate,please contact Aurore Negro:

events@maurocolagreco.com

 

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