Restaurant Ahoa (Urrugne)

© Louis Triol

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In their wooden hut exposed to the four winds and with a name that sticks in your teeth (ahoa is Basque for “mouth”), three friends are keeping the Col d’Ibardin brilliantly fueled: American chef Ryan Christopher Schiele, Touraine-native Gianni Marongiu who has a finger in every pie (both ex-Au ComptOir in Loches), and his partner Saioa Lorentz, a shaper from St-Jean-de-Luz. So, what can you expect? Meals that scale dizzying heights accompanied by (mostly) clean wines, all with an HD view of the coastline! On our plates that lunch: superb eggs from Aitatxi (Saioa’s grandfather) mimosa-style, with mayo spiked with Makrut lime, preserved lemon and Old Bay American spice blend, atop pickled radishes and fried shallots, sitting happily around a herby piment d’Espelette zabaglione; dazzling line-caught hake with a lemon jelly and mustard seed boost, plus cabbage galore (cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli and purple cauliflower, roasted, braised and pureed); before the perfect finale, a sort of chiffon cake cozied up with caramelized peaches, siphoned mascarpone, lemon jelly and verbena leaves. // Gérard Roubeix

FEELING THIRSTY? Pick from a desulphurized cast, including Piak, a Saumur blanc de noirs from Sébastien Bobinet (€4 a glass) or T’as Poussé le Bouchon Trop Loin, a Rhone red blend from Lori Haon (€24 a bottle), as well as Eztigar cider and Akerbeltz beer (€3 for 330 ml).

PRICE: Dishes €6.50 to €21, desserts €7-9, kids’ menu €10.

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