Take three sales mômes (French for ‘brats’): caterer Pascal Bénac, chef Jauris Gilles (ex-Table Sébastien Gravé) and wine lover Julien Fernandez; put them in a Basque space that’s had a facelift by interior designer Aurore Dehez (smooth concrete floors, a tiled bar, a pool-blue ceiling) and watch them play like children…. The other night, the €38 prix-fixe menu included some lovely beef tataki marinated in pesto and served with wasabi mayo and pickled onions; a vivifying scallop tartare with a carrot-yuzu cream and pickled butternut squash; flavor-packed Galician octopus in filo pastry, dotted with chipotle mayonnaise and smoked paprika… What came next? Flash-seared foie gras with a perfect oeuf parfait and artichoke mousse; a tender veal chop from Saint-Palais, perfectly cooked and cuddled amongst a red cabbage mousseline, with anchovies and fat polenta fries; before a trio of desserts (pear-praline, chocolate-peanut tart and butternut squash crème brûlée). Wowzers! // Gérard Roubeix
FEELING THIRSTY? A few natural wines: a Saumur Blanc from the Château de Villeneuve (€25 a bottle), a Bergerac orange wine from the Château Tour des Gendres (€24), a Côtes-du-Rhône red from Gramenon (€35)…. And make sure not to miss the house cocktails, like the Carda-Mômes (G’Vine gin, cardamom infusion, lime, maple syrup – €10).
PRICE: Set menus €26-32 (weekday lunch), dinner €38 (five appetizers, one main, three desserts – dinner and lunch on the weekends).