Café du Fronton

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The latest hotspot in Guéthary? A cool café in what used to be Chai Pompon, sitting across from the fronton Basque pelota court, where the former architect Léa Etchegoyen (who used to work at Providence in Guétary, Chéri Bibi in Biarritz, Gramme in Paris and Le Chardon in Arles) and her team cook local eats with a unanimous motto: “simple and good” food! The day we went for lunch, seated under the plane tree on the glowing terrace: plump white Landes asparagus wrapped up in an ajo blanco (garlic and almond) sauce, home-smoked Pyrenees trout with mint leaves; impeccable line-caught hake from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, flash-seared and then roasted in the oven, swimming around in an onion jus with broad beans, peas, fennel and herbs; before a more Normandy-inspired apple tarte tatin with raw cream. What else? Small plates at night – terrine from Amatxi, cheese and charcuterie plates (sheep’s milk cheese, charcuterie from Éric Ospital), bocadillos (ham or sheep’s milk cheese), gâteau basque – and breakfast with fried eggs, viennoiseries, fromage blanc, homemade granola and seasonal fruit. // Gérard Roubeix 

FEELING THIRSTY? : A natural wine list: Piak, a Loire grolleau from Bobinet (€6 a glass), Les Chassagnes, a Jura savagnin from Bornard (€55 a bottle), Les Calades, a malbec from Le Vent des Jours (€34)… Unless you’d rather opt for Bulleuh, a Bergerac pet’ nat’ orange wine from the Domaine de Bonvin (€32) or Eztigar, a Basque hard apple cider (€13 for 750 ml). 
PRICE: : À la carte €30-41, small plates €4-18. 

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