Gaztelur (Arcangues)

© Gaztelur

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A baroque fairyland! Javier de la Rica transformed a 19th-century mansion into a stylish estate complete with a park, a vegetable garden, greenhouses, beehives, and a series of rooms overflowing with antiques and fresh flowers. He also entrusted the restaurant’s menu creation to Fabrice Idiart, chef of the neighboring Le Moulin d’Alotz. In the kitchen, you’ll find Kévin Bigot, who used to work at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, cooking up the unfussy, authentic cuisine that’ll almost have you feeling like you’re “eating at home.” The night we went, we devoured all of the following: succulent small trout from Baïgorry that were simply pan-fried with brown butter, parsley and lemon; sublime Saint-Jean-de-Luz line-caught hake with salsa verde and berberechos (cockles), perfectly steamed and served with matchstick fries, piquillo peppers with pil pil, vinegary lettuce hearts and grated Ossau-Iraty cheese; and to round out the meal, a simple but delicious strawberry salad made with berries from the Dache Dise farm, plus Basque shortbread and honey ice cream made using honey from the estate’s hives. // Gérad Roubeix 

FEELING THIRSTY? Conventional and natural wines coexist on the menu: a Côtes-de-Duras white from La Pie Colette (€5 a glass), a Pouilly-Fuissé from the Domaine Faiveley (€57 a bottle), Marqués, a Rioja from Riscal Gran Reserva (€75)… Plus Basque brews – lagers, wheat beers and IPAs from Eguzki (€6 for 330 ml) and farm-fresh Bordatto hard cider (€14 for 750 ml). 
PRICE: Menus €40, kids’ menu €25 (weekday lunch), à la carte €40, Sunday chicken €21/person. 

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