Thursday, August 5, 2010

Le Danieli, Nîmes

As I wrote in a previous post, we made our first visit to Nîmes a few weeks back. We left Sablet relatively early in the morning so we could get there before the crowds of other tourists. After visits to the Arènes - amphitheater and Maison Carrée - the temple known as the square house, I was hungry as it was getting towards noon and time for déjeuner - lunch.

As we and our friends from Bistro Des Copains strolled toward the Jardin de la Fontaine, wife Shirley and I lagged behind our little group as we ducked into and out of shops along the way and perused menus posted outside of restaurants on the street.

We stepped into a shop with santons in the window - hand-painted terracotta figurines depicting working people of Provence made by local artisans for the traditional Provençal crèche - nativity scenes.

As we were paying for the santons that I had selected, I asked the husband and wife who owned the shop if they could recommend a good place to go eat. As is usual, they replied that they don't eat out very much preferring to eat at home but they knew a restaurant not too far away called Le Danieli that generally served a very good Plat du Jour. They also said we should definitely try the café gourmand.

After getting directions, we arrived at Le Danieli restaurant which is located on Place d'Assas a short walk from Maison Carrée. Built at the end of the 20th century, the modern square by Martial Raysse's has several statues and a beautiful fountain.

The statue at one end of Place d'Assas.

The fountain at the center of Place d'Assas near Le Danieli restaurant. Wife Shirley shows her best Vanna White. If nursing doesn't work out for her, maybe she has a future as the new Vanna.

Wife Shirley and friend Kari from Bistro Des Copains posing (again) for me on the Place d'Assas fountain. I am lucky my friends will pose endlessly for my photographs.

Several restaurants and cafés with their outdoor terraces line Place d'Assas from one end to the other. Le Danieli is one of these.

Wife Shirley sitting at our table inside Le Danieli restaurant. We didn't sit on the terrace because it was grey rainy day in Nîmes.

Le Danieli offers pasta and pizza plus other choices. As suggested by the shopkeepers who recommended the restaurant to me, I chose the Plat du Jour, an entrecôte - beef rib steak with potatoes dauphinoise and peppercorn sauce for 8 Euros. It was a delicious bargain.

And to finish my lunch, I chose the recommended café gourmand. The word gourmand doesn't relate to the coffee itself - it was just a small espresso. The gourmand is what comes with the coffee - an artistic array of miniature desserts.

On this day, Le Danieli served a coconut cake, brownie and chocolate mousse alongside the small cup of espresso. A wonderful way to finish a meal.

I wouldn't make a special trip to Nîmes to eat at Le Danieli restaurant but I would definitely eat there again if we were back to visit beautiful Nîmes.


  1. To me, the steak looked great!

    And I'm a sucker for café gourmand!

    I think they invented café gourmand with me in mind!

    All the best


  2. That dessert and coffee would make me go again!
    Loved your post on your own restuarant in California,it looks lovely,I have never crossed the Atlantic,but maybe someday!I love that you bought your tablecloths in Aix,I have been there!

  3. Keith, it was really good food and I wouldn't hesitate to dine there again. We are trying to come up with a version of cafe gourmand for our Bistro Des Copains.

    Talesfromagarden, thanks for the nice feedback about the post. I hope you do make it across the Atlantic some day so we can meet at Bistro Des Copains.