Art’Zain (Irissarry)

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Chef Henri Amestoy is the son of a shepherd (artzain in Basque) who worked in the kitchens of La Ferme Gourmande in Ossès for seven years before settling down in the neighboring village of Irissarry. In this huge building made of stones and wooden rafters, the Basque native tenderly catalyzes the crème de la crème of local artisanal ingredients. The evening we went, his €32 menu included: a divine pork terrine from Belaun with pickled black radish; a hard-boiled egg with spring peas and beans, prepared like a tartare and served in a piquillo pepper sauce; juicy rib-eye steak dry aged for 50 days, paired with polenta and roasted vegetables; graceful chicken jambonnette with an intoxicating carrot-orange mousseline and a lovage-infused butter sauce; before a really runny chocolate lava cake for the radical finale. // N.K.

FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a succinct wine list that’s even a little profane when compared to how masterful the cuisine is: Goiz ala Berant, an Irouléguy from the Domaine Xubialdea (€5.90 a glass), a Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay from Nicolas Maillet (€27 a bottle).

PRICE: Set menu €15 (weekday lunch), menus €32-57, kids’ menu €13.

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