This is a fairly original Italian restaurant: not a plate of pizza or spaghetti in sight! Well-known TV chef Marco Folicaldi rustles up a tasty, ... More
Zucca Magica (La)
This is a fairly original Italian restaurant: not a plate of pizza or spaghetti in sight! Well-known TV chef Marco Folicaldi rustles up a tasty, constantly changing vegetarian menu using ingredients fresh from that morning's market. When in season, pumpkin (Zucca) is one of his favourite ingredients, even as decoration— it's like Halloween all year round! You will find a tiny dining room, tiny tables, just one set menu and cheerful waiters. Lunch is an astounding bargain, but dinner is nearly as reasonable.
I wish I had seen these reviews before we went...other sites had rave reviews.
When our group arrived, we were all enchanted with the cozy atmosphere; it is a lovely restaurant.
However...we had hardly arrived when it seemed as if dish after dish was being thrown at us. We felt there must have been a second seating, and there was a time limit of how long we were expected to be there. Some of us were still chewing when our plates were cleared and the next course served.
Agree with other reviewers that there wasn't a great variety of food. Each plate (with the exception of desert) contained cheese, and were too heavy for a 5-course meal. Half of us couldn't eat from the 3rd course, so food wasted.
One course had smoked cheese, pumpkin, and truffle oil - all too strong flavours to compete with each other. As the restaurant filled up, 2 of my dining companions complained of fumes from outside; I suspect they were overwhelmed with the fumes from dozens of plates of truffle oil!
The tables were crowded together; even the waiters couldn't get through because chairs backed onto each other.
No menu, food keeps on being brought to table, 5 courses (who can eat that much?)of tasteless, mushy, starchy food: tomato stuffed with rice and potato, pasta, lentil puree. Not one salad or raw veggies, winter veggies in the summer! Really bad ending with overwelmingly (amaretto) flavored ice cream, to hide a tasteless fig tart.
I do not like to see food being wasted but about half of the food being served that night was not eaten (I was looking at other tables). Save your money, go elsewhere, even an average pizza would taste better
This was a truely shocking experience. We had gone anticipating what all the guides had suggested would be a really spectacular vegetarian meal. What we discovered was course after course (four in total), of tepid ,repetitive,salty,greasy unimaginitive plates. The culinary experience might best be described as reminiscent of 1960's English school meals. There was no evidence of the presence of a Chef,indeed no cooking appeared to have been completed on the evening itself. We did spot some candles buring in the middle of the central hob. We suspect the famous Itlian chef and owner refered to in Guides has left? We certainly hope so . If not we suggest he pays a trip to Terre a Terre in Brighton England, which similarly offers exclusivly vegetarian meals. The experience in terms of the quality ,and cooking could not be more different. Our meal at Zucca Magica consisted exclusively of variations of potatoes, courgettes,tomatoes,rice and cheese- with none of the exotic ingredients which we daily saw flowing from the stalls of Nice's markets.
The same course served three times (once cold )!!The desert was appalling, the service OK with lots of palaver.Some of the other diners were equally bemused to keep getting the same thing all the time.The restaurant itself is lovely-intimate busy ambience.Not a genuine vegetarian restaurant.Never again!
Wow! This restuarant was one of the best memories of our trip
By A Yahoo Contributor, 6/4/07
My husband is vegetarian and as expected France in general was challenging for food for him. This place was a wonderful surprise that I highly recommend for anyone, not just vegetarians. The food was well prepared, unique, and beautifully presented. My husband and I will probably go back to Nice just to go to this restuarant again. I also enjoyed that dinner was a surprise of whatever the chef had prepared for the day. It was delicious!
I thought that this place was amazing.... I didn't like it... I loved it! I love the fact of not going to normal french restauraunts and expecting pizza with pasta on the side. It was a wonderful change in view, too.
Either they were having an off day when we visited or most previous reviewers have wildly over rated this place. However it is very popular, and you will be lucky to get in unless you book.
Service is cheerful and overly quick. Finish one course and the next one arrives. Because its a set menu,nothing is cooked to order, its all ready to serve in the kitchen. If you prefer a slower meal, down knife and fork part way through a course!
The food is OK but apart from the soup and the pudding course, the other 3 courses are sort of similar (eg when we went courgette 'cake', pepper stuffed with rice and canneloni). No salads when we went.
Its good but not great. My wife is veggie, I'm not - we both agree there are much better veggie restaurants than this. Veggie food in Nice is not difficult due to the Italian influence.
Tears will run down your face, the food is so good. Atmosphere off the charts. The chef sings opera from the kitchen and may come out and kiss your hand. He cooks what he feels like. No menu. Just trust him. It's our favorite restaurant in the world and we have never seen anything like it, anywhere. If you cannot get in for dinner, go for lunch and linger throughout the afternoon. There are no doors on the restaurant and you look out on the marina.
I went to Zucca Magia when it first opened many years ago. The food was amazing. But I recently went back with my husband and was a little disappointed. I felt it had changed. The food was good but each course resembled the other in flavor. I think Nice has better restaurants. Like Juni's for example, food that will blow your mind
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