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Le Moulin de Mougins, Mougins

Chemin de Moulin
Notre Dame de Vie
France 06250
Tel: 33 4 93 75 78 24's insider take:

When the chef-god Roger Vergé retired in 2004, Alain Llorca took on the terrifying task of filling his shoes. Lately of the esteemed Le Chantecler in Nice, Llorca trained with Ducasse, but his style is just as much influenced by his homeland—the currently most-culinarily-fabulous Spain. His Ronde des Tapas is a tasting menu by another name, but there's not a whiff of classical French piety in his dishes masquerading as other dishes and fast food—octopus stew "bouillabaisse", foie gras "bonbons", pizza dice and goat cheese croque monsieur. Regular menus come in three déclinaisons: classical/traditional, contemporary (a.k.a. "new and amazing") or light (a.k.a. "natural"), and one way to ride Llorca's roller coaster is to try the three-times-three menu, where three single ingredients are repeated in each of the three styles: for example classical roasted rack of lamb with mushrooms and black truffles, a contemporary roasted rack with balsamic vinegar and Italian bacon, and a light candied lamb served in a tagine with cannelloni and assorted flowers. Desserts by Llorca's brother, pastry chef Jean-Michel Llorca, are equally audacious. The rooms have had an overhaul and now all is white down to the chandeliers, with flourishes of plum. Vergé made Mougin a place of culinary pilgrimage for years, and Llorca is keeping up the tradition, scoring his second Michelin star in 2005. In other words, book way ahead. With nine rooms and apartments on the premises, don't rule out spending your entire vacation here. You can even participate in cooking classes and wine tastings.

Open daily 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.