restaurant

L'Ossau

Restaurant L'Ossau (Pau)

© Emilie Massal

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In the land of good King Henri, there’s a sleek, wood-clad bistro winning over local appetites thanks to two friends: Tarbes native Benjamin Grandclément (in the kitchen) and Étienne Guinel (front of house), both of whom used to work at the Mandarin Oriental under Thierry Marx. Their thing? Traditional, classic, almost bourgeois cuisine, which was a true delight for €29 the day we went for lunch: tasty Chalosse poulet jaune corn-fed chicken and Duroc pork rillettes (sourced from Maison Biraben and the Ferme du Lasset, respectively) with preserved lemon and parsley, all served on a silver platter; impeccable line-caught hake from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, new potatoes, onions, carrots, thyme and a red wine sauce with fish bone fumet – plus organic bread from Gaston’s for wiping the plate clean; before a classic rice pudding from pastry chef Jonathan Vallenari (ex-Maynats), paired with praline cream and pumpkin seeds. After all that, we were itching to come back to try the duck pâté en croûte with foie gras, dried figs and pistachios, and the poule au pot ballotine, with a superb sauce and a medley of vegetables. // Loulou Pic

FEELING THIRSTY? : A wine list that features both conventional and natural vintages: a red Sancerre from Serge Laloue (€9 a glass), Monnières-Saint Fiacre muscadet from the Domaine Haute Févrie (€22 a bottle), Campredon, a Terrasses-du-Larzac from Alain Chabanon (€44)… unless you’d rather indulge in a Pouilly-Fumé from Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau (€138).
PRICE: : Set menus €22-29 (lunch), à la carte €48-51.

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