Fogo (Toulouse)

© Fogo

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The former Algerian international rugby player Fred Medves traded in his jersey for natural wines. At Bonbonne wine shop in Lardenne, he met his new teammate Bruno Marques, who moved from Brazil to France for its culinary scene. Together, they built a very Toulouse-style wine shop with elegant decor that’s heavy on dark wood, metal and smoked glass. The former professional athlete serves precise plates that are meant to be shared at night, like the lively filet mignon beef carpaccio with soy sauce, wasabi mayo and anchovies; a heady risotto with duck breast; harmonious grilled baby squid served over a velvety sunchoke purée; or a spellbinding chocolate flan with chocolate coulis, caramel sauce and intensely flavorful chocolate nibs. At lunch, the winning set menu changes daily – croque monsieurs made with mortadella, homemade keftas, chocolate lava cake… There’s some pushing and shoving to get a table, but the people of Toulouse love a good scrum! // Auguste Marie  

FEELING THIRSTY? : Southern gems: Viñales, an Occitan syrah produced by Benjamin Dubois (€28 a bottle), L’Imprudence, a blanc de noir sparkling wine from the Domaine Bernatas in Limoux (€30), Clés en Mains, a red Corbières from the Domaine des Deux Clés (€36), wine served by the glass €5-8.  
PRICE: : Set menus €20-24 (lunch), plates €8-31 and prix-fixe menu €49 (dinner). 

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