Restaurant Grabuge (Saint-Etienne)

© Geoffrey Saint Joanis

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It’s pure mayhem (aka “grabuge”) in Saint-Étienne! Already lighting up the town with his wine bar Pampille, Benjamin Guillaume is back to shake things up some more with a new tapas-heavy neo-bistro. In a former sneaker store that’s been remodeled (rough stone walls, Persian rugs, Piretti chairs, a vinyl section), the young chef Baptiste Berger, who used to work for Couillon in Noirmoutier, unveils stunning, freestyling menus from behind the long counter, like: échalion (a cousin of the shallot) broth with squash that’ll wake your taste buds right up, slipped into a teacup; creamy endives with some punchy grated potatoes and fresh tomme cheese; cheeky pork pressé roasted in the oven and embellished with carrot ketchup; flame-charred mackerel from Grau-du-Roi launched into orbit by a fish bone and rice vinegar cream and a cabbage purée; before a plump roasted pear with a cushion of whipped cream, popcorn and a zadorable za’atar caramel sauce. // Thomas Jossin 

FEELING THIRSTY? : A carefully considered menu of 150 low-intervention wines, with some lovely finds like La Canuse, a red from Thibaud Capellaro (€45 a bottle) or Frénêsie, a Chenin from the Domaine Helicon (€60). Served by the glass, an Alsatian Pinot noir produced by Geschickt (€7) and around a dozen types of Chartreuse for your after-dinner digestif (€6.50 to €18.50). 
PRICE: : Menu €24 (lunch) and €34 (dinner).

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