After running Le Basilic brasserie for around 10 years, Fabrice Naacke fled the capital to catch some waves along Socoa beach. His spot, Alaïa (which means “joy” in Basque), reflects the zeitgeist in a pretty refreshing way: hand-crafted tables, vintage banquettes, red and blue rattan armchairs, and a breathtaking view of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz bay. In the kitchen you’ll find the excellent 28-year-old chef Maëva Lezaud, who digs into the locally grown, organic pantry to craft her lovely dishes. Served à la carte the day we went: a refreshing Banka trout gravlax with an endive-apple salad, horseradish cream and pickled red onion; incredible ttoro (a fish soup from the Basque Country) with line-caught hake, langoustine, clams, vegetables from Ascain, black bread croutons and homemade rouille; before a clementine caramelized in marsala, which was rather skimpy but was served with a divine frozen soufflé. // P.L.
FEELING THIRSTY? Wines made without chemical additives, like Tète Blanche, a Loire from Nicolas Grosbois (€4.50 a glass), or an Irouléguy red from the Domaine Abotia (€28 a bottle) or the Buzet Pech Abusé (€35).
PRICE: À la carte €30-55. Kids’ menu €9.