My weekend in Monaco looked like being a washout. Not literally. As I write, the sun is shining and the weather forecast is fine, on land that is. But I was expecting to spend Saturday morning at sea, watching whales in the Pelagos Sanctuary with a group of like-minded folk from CREM. Unfortunately the weather in the middle of the ocean was unpredictable and so the trip was cancelled.
I found out on Friday morning, and not being the sort of person to let a canceled outing spoil a weekend, I turned my attention to what to do that evening. Without the need to wake early for an eight o'clock departure from Port Hercule, I looked forward to a long dinner with some decent wine. Have you tried Valentin? It's just the place, hidden away beneath Park Palace, primarily serving lunches to the bankers of Monte Carlo. Two days a week tho', it stays open in the evening, for an early dinner on Thursdays, and aperos, wine and Italian tapas on Fridays. After a break in August, Valentin reopened a week before the rentrée, and twice now, I've strolled past on the Friday, anticipating a relaxing end to my week. Twice I was disappointed, so this time I phoned ahead. Sadly tapas nights will have to wait until October.
When The Man returned from tapping his fingers to the bone on his office computer keyboard, he preferred friendliness over fuss and we headed to the place round the corner, Flashman's. And very glad we were too. The team has made Friday night mussels night, an all-you-can-eat, 22-euros mollusc feast. There's a choice of three sauces (marinière, tomato, or blue cheese), and a side of chips. The mussels are small and sweet, the marinière cooking liquor is buttery and contains chunks of garlic. Teamed with a Château Minuty rosé wine it was a meal fit for a Prince.
Moby Dick may have had his Mediterranean parlour to himself this weekend. We raided his kitchen instead.
Valentin27 avenue de la Costa
tel. +377 93 50 60 00
Flashman's7 avenue Princesse Alice
tel. +377 93 30 09 03