Cécile (Toulouse)

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Despite the COVID-19 recession, Matthieu Gaichies decided to close his restaurant Popote to open up Cécile, a carefully decorated bistro (petrol blue walls, blonde wooden furniture, a windowed wine selection), named after his grandmother. In the kitchen, Florent Boisseau (ex-Equilibre in Balma) sent sparks flying the day we went for lunch: a flamboyant ratatouille gazpacho with black olive powder, pepper sorbet, arugula and a grilled corn vinaigrette; an impeccable slow-cooked egg in a butternut squash velouté with seasonal vegetables electrified by a spicy ketchup, green oil and kasha seeds; before a very flavorful peach-apricot compote with crumble topping and a chilled lemon curd. At night, the chef increases his powers: Albacore tuna tataki with Andalusian gazpacho, olives and pomegranate; line-caught, flash-seared hake with coco de Paimpol beans and baked razor clams… And in the morning, there’s a breakfast set menu for €9. // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? There are a hundred wines to choose from, most of which are natural: a Limoux red from Gilles Azam (€6 a glass), a Fronton from the Château La Colombière (€28 a bottle), a Roussillon white from Stéphane Morin (€31)…

PRICE: Set menus at lunch €19-22, dinner €33 and €42 (four courses).

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