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Restaurant Mahaina (Bidart)

© Mahaina

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On a small street that gives out onto the Avenue de la Grande-Plage, a stone’s throw from Bidart’s town hall, there’s a tantalizing new spot to enjoy. It’s run by the duo Julie Montorcier and Valentin Frezier (ex-Ithurria, Les Frères Ibarboure and L’Impertinent) who gave up Michelin-starred restaurants to take on pinxtos in a red and white timbered house named Mahaina. The day we went for lunch, we opted for the maxi-version: crispy yet tender Manex pork trotters with added color from beets (raw, cooked and prepared as ketchup); flawless Saint-Jean-de-Luz monkfish cooked on the plancha, served with braised lettuce hearts and peppers (flame-charred red and fermented green), all doused with a Xérès jus; before some incredible cream puffs that combined puff pastry, frozen yogurt, whipped cream, sesame-almond nougatine and a white chocolate/white miso sauce. You also won’t want to miss the mouthwatering tapas either: green olive, tomato and anchovy focaccia; local charcuterie; homemade mezze (pita bread, smoked eggplant, tzatziki, red bean hummus)… // Gérard Roubeix

FEELING THIRSTY? Chemical-free wines: a Navarre Chardonnay from Quaderna Via (€6 a glass), a Vouvray by Florian Le Capitaine (€35 a bottle), a Lot orange wine from Fabien Jouves (€42)…
PRICE: À la carte €33-52, tapas €3.50 to €12, kids’ menu €17.

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