Petit Grill Basque

Restaurant Petit Grill Basque (Saint-Jean-de-Luz)

© Petit Grill Basque

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Elementary, my dear Iñaki! It’s back to basics for Mr. Aizpitarte, owner of Le Chateaubriand (Le Fooding’s Best Restaurant of 2007) and Le Dauphin in Paris, who has retreated to his home base, (re)deploying his bistronomic talents in the kitchens of an old Saint-Jean-de-Luz institution, which has retained its original old-fashioned charm – a punkah fan hanging from the ceiling, stenciled motifs on the walls by the painter Louis Floutier, vintage tableware… Without entering into competition with Chez Maya, the take-away shop run by his partner Delphine Zampetti (ex-CheZaline) located right next door, the chef cooks up the best deal in town with his €34 set menu served on Saturdays. The day we went, it included: tender white asparagus from the Ferme Saint-Henri which you drag through a garrigue-inspired mayonnaise (seasoned with thyme, rosemary and savory); incredibly tender veal escalope from Belaun, flash-seared so it was still rosy pink in the center, paired with spicy maître d’hôtel butter and golden fries – which were double-cooked in beef fat; before a comforting caramel floating island. At night, there are à la carte offerings, like potatoes with Banka trout roe and fresh herbs; Grand Roux corn polenta, sheep’s milk cheese and Choricero pepper cream; hake with salsa verde and palourde clams… And even a tarta de Santiago, that Spanish cake adorned with the cross of Saint James. // Loulou Pic

FEELING THIRSTY? : Félix Schiffman (ex-Chéri Bibi in Biarritz and Auberge de Chassignolles) offers up 150 labels of clean wines: Lurumea, an Irouléguy red from the Domaine Bordatto (€6 a glass), Escargot, an Auvergne chardonnay produced by Vincent and Marie Tricot (€40 a bottle), La Louve Noire, a Roussillon blend by Laurence Manya-Krief of the Domaine Yoyo (€42)…
PRICE: : Set menu €34 (Saturday lunch), à la carte €43-56 and pintxos €2.50 to €7 (dinner).

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