Balthazar (Toulouse)

© Gustavo Miranda Holley

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This bric-a-broc bistro with somewhat hippie vibes (bamboo and Formica tables, a bar fashioned out of wooden pallets, rows of canned goods) has a rather Aveyron spirit about it, one that sometimes verges towards the Levantine… With jazz playing in the background, here you’ll find Philippe Abirached bringing a little joyful chaos to his vintage plates. The day we went for lunch: a vibrant lentil salad with plenty of vinegary tones from capers and cornichons, shredded mozzarella and a few shelled mussels; brilliant line-caught dab with puréed Tarbes beans and a beetroot coulis; followed by a lovely Lebanese orange blossom flan for dessert. At night, it’s the same joyfully regionalist take on things, plus a few special guest starts, like a noir de Bigorre pork terrine, organic veal belly from Joël Astruc, marinated Mediterranean octopus, or even pan-fried dry-aged Aubrac steak. // A.S.

FEELING THIRSTY? A wine list that feels like the space: a little wild…. a Tarn red from Joël Astruc, a Gers white from Dominique Andiran (€5 a glass), a Chiroubles from Damien Coquelet (€40 a bottle), a Lot Sauvingon from Sylvain Jougla (€35)…

PRICE: Menu €17.50 to €19.50 (lunch), à la carte €35-50 (dinner).

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