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  • The Mirazur in Menton, Provence  
  • Photo by Stéphane Danna/Realis  
  • Fruits Rouge avec Betterabe. Photo by Eduardo Torres  
  • Mais en textures. Photo by Eduardo Torres

11/11/14 Mirazur Restaurant, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

It’s fitting that the Mirazur sits right at the border of France and Italy. Overlooking the sparkling blue of the French Mediterranean, this restaurant in Menton knows no bounds in serving up flavor, elegance, and imagination through its dishes.

The vast maritime view complements interiors that mix the stark with a few hunks of wood serving as tables. Touches of the outdoors, such as pebbles and grass used as table accents, prompt the spirit of discovery. And trust us, there is much to discover.

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When NOUS visited in October, a Pablo Neruda poem that praised the profundity of bread sat on the table. Justifying the poet’s sentimentality was charcoal bread to start, revelatory with subtle smoke and sweetness. It was a good omen for the 11 courses that followed, served by waiters that resembled Dior Homme models. Each dish made artful use of local produce, including those plucked from the chef’s own garden, petals and all.

A sizable Gillardeau oyster couldn’t have been improved upon until a server poured it a refreshing bath of Williams pear juice. Hatching inspiration was a hen’s egg filled with an emulsion of smoked eel. And fine, flaky Beryx went nicely with crispy shards of Jerusalem artichoke.

The menu at Mirazur, ever changing, is clearly the product of someone who has many stories to tell through his food. Having worked with some of the most inventive, Michelin-decorated chefs, from Loiseau to Passard, Argentinean chef Mauro Colagreco balances a reverence for technique with bold creativity. What limitlessness his kitchen strives for is best demonstrated by the sea up ahead.