Retsaurant Papi (Toulouse)

© Benoît Durieux

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Heatstroke warning! This very chulo Papi is causing temperatures to skyrocket on Toulouse’s Left Bank, in a narrow bistro where you squeeze in to the tightly-packed tables for a bite to eat. Here, two youngsters with fiery talent operate brilliantly: chef Benoît Durieux (ex-Bàcaro) and the former wine shop owner Léon Bonnet (ex-Cave de César in Labège). The day we went, the €24 prix-fixe menu was a sight for sore eyes, featuring the first white asparagus of the season, grown in the Lot-et-Garonne department, enhanced with ajo blanco (a chilled Andalusian soup made with bread, garlic and almonds) and seasoned with leek oil, pickled mustard seeds and crushed almonds; unbelievably tender Ibaïama pork secreto with an incredible spicy jus, paired with fennel (served both roasted and as a cream) and new potatoes; before a delicious finale to the meal, a buckwheat biscuit spread with chocolate cream, and completed by a tonka bean yogurt – which paired perfectly with an espresso from the local Ayuco coffee roasters. At night, you can share (if you choose to) some panisse fritters with butternut squash ketchup, blood sausage made from Noir de Bigorre pork, and rice pudding… // Loulou Pic 

FEELING THIRSTY? : Around 50 low-intervention bottles: La Percée, an Ariège merlot produced by the Domaine de Lastronques (€6 a glass), Eolithe, a saumur rouge from the Château de Fosse-Sèche (€49 a bottle), an irouléguy blanc from Goienetxea (€69), À Fleur De Peau, an orange wine from the nearby Château La Colombière (€46)… And if you’re in the mood for beer, try Marguerite, a white ale from the Brasserie du Midi (€5 for 330 ml). 
PRICE: : Set menus €21-24 (lunch), small plates €7-17 (dinner). 

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