Le Palmier

Restaurant Le Palmier (Hendaye)

© Gérard Roubeix

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What’s new under the sun? After shaking up Chéri Bibi (Biarritz) and Chardon (Arles) respectively, friends Christophe Almodovar and André Despacha teamed up with Caroline and Antoine Piechaud (Providence in Guéthary) to open an extremely fresh bistro in Hendaye called Le Palmier. That’s where the quartet put their talents for uniting excellent products (Petra flour, vegetables from La Ferme Uhaldea), living wines and relaxed prices to good use, all in a space with Nordic-Riviera-esque decor (an immaculate facade with overhanging railings, arched windows, a solid wood bar, a big wooden table…). The day we went for lunch, we had all of the following: excellent focaccia baciata, a cross between a sandwich and a piadina, stuffed with spinach, oyster mushrooms and smoked scamorza; followed by a tender ricotta tart. At night, the Moretti pizza oven spits out classic but balanced pizzas, like the Marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano), the ’Nduja (tomato, ‘nduja, Calabrian sausage, basil) or the Salsiccia (tomato, mozzarella, finocchiona, basil and red onions). And at any time of day, there are Nardín smoked anchovies, Kintoa cured ham with piment d’Espelette, or Tolède olives marinated in garlic and lemon to nibble on… // Gérard Roubeix 

A selection of very respectable wines (which are also sold to go): a Bergerac white from the Château Barouillet produced in collaboration with Le Vin des Potes (€5 a glass), an Aude red from the Domaine Balansa (€33 a bottle), an Alsatian Pinot from Geschickt (€35)… Unless you’d rather be served a Zazpi on tap (€3 for 250 ml) or an Euskola, the local version of Coca Cola (€3 for 330 ml). 
PRICE: Mains €5 to €13.50, pizzas €9-14, tapas €3-14, desserts €5. 

Late-night munchies?

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