Bocata (Saint-Jean-de-Luz)

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After working in the kitchens at Maitenia in Ciboure, the French-Irish chef Guillaume Mc Closkey and Marieke Pierlot are opting for simplicity itself at this cute little bistro (a neon window display, chipped tiling, second-hand furniture) across from the Saint-Jean-de-Luz train station. There, starting at 10 a.m., the chef whips up sandwiches filled with cheese (cow’s milk tomme, Saint-Nectaire from Beñat…) or charcuterie from the Boucherie des Familles (ham, lomo, saucisson, chorizo), along with some homemade sweets – bread pudding, oat cookies, blueberry or apricot financiers. Come lunchtime, the sandwiches get kicked up a notch, like this sensational bun, copiously filled with a lively mackerel escabèche, big slices of pepper, cucumber and lettuce. Also spotted on the blackboard menu: a tortilla topped with sliced avocado or a cauliflower tabbouleh, and for a sweet note after all that, a delightful chocolate / salted caramel tart. // Gérard Roubeix

FEELING THIRSTYNatural bottles at reasonable prices: a Gard red from the Mont de Marie (€24), a Bergerac pet’ nat’ from the Château Barouillet (€28 a bottle), unless you’d prefer a La Superbe beer from Anglet (€4.50 for 330 ml).

PRICESandwiches and small plates €5-7, desserts €3.50 to €5.

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