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What is it about the simple word gratinée that makes food so delicious? Everyone loves crisp-browned and bubbling cheese on top of gratinéed potatoes or on the ultra-classic French onion soup. Only kids have the guts to ask for “more crispy” – plus de croustillant – but when it comes time to clear the table, I’ve seen friends fight to take the gratin dish away. Why?
Nestled between Monaco and the French-Italian border, Roquebrune Cap Martin is where the steep Alpes Maritimes tumble right into the Mediterranean Sea. Perched on three “shelves,” the town includes turquoise sea coves on the cape, staircases running in all directions, and a hilltop medieval village featuring one of Europe’s oldest olive trees. But all these features were secondary during my recent visit: I’d chosen the destination for the architectural gems that sit right along the coast.
Paris in summer is a ghost town. Even though the juillettistes are back (those vacationers who leave in juillet or July), the aoûtiens (“Augusters”) are away for at least another week. In just a few days, I’ll also be joining the ranks of aoûtiens who have left the city in favor of sunnier climes. And one of the first things I’ll do when I get to my destination – the Var – is to pick up a Tarte Tropézienne.