Maison de Mézos

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Charline and Johan Laval brought the former Hôtel Boucau back to life in the heart of the Landes forest, 10 kilometers from the coastal beaches. There’s a large courtyard and a mismatched dining room (antique furniture, whitewashed wooden rafters), where the ex-car body designer, who used to work for Trama and under Benjamin Toursel in Moirax, keeps customers happy with pretty plates. The day we went for lunch: a runny oeuf parfait nestled atop a lovely green asparagus chartreuse, with tomato compote, slow-cooked onions, chorizo and siphoned mayonnaise; massive line-caught meagre from Capbreton slow-cooked in clarified butter infused with lemongrass and ginger, surfing on a parsley and artichoke coulis, with spring onion and asparagus brunoise and a shiitake mushroom purée; and an improbable but happy marriage between chocolate and fennel – Breton shortbread topped with chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brûlée paired with raw and confit fennel, chocolate crumble and a kiwi-tarragon jelly. // Gérard Roubeix 

FEELING THIRSTY? Organic bottles: Rien ne m’effraie, a Pic-Saint-Loup from La Chouette du Chai (€3 a glass), Jour de Fruit, a Bergerac blanc from L’Ancienne Cure (€23 a bottle), Matières Vieilles Vignes, a Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil from the Domaine Bois Mayaud (€27). 
PRICE: Menus €14.90 to €19.90 (weekday lunch) and €25 to €35, kids’ menu €14. 

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