Chez Mattin

Chez Mattin (Ciboure)

© Chez Mattin

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In this old épicerie perched up high in the village of Ciboure (plaster walls, blackened rafters, a fireplace), owner Michel Niquet has been cooking up Basquitude classics since June 1998: ttoro (the best in the world!), baby squid simmered in squid ink, Eric Ospital pork tenderloin tartare with pan-fried foie gras…. Pure, utter terroir-ism that’s brought into the dining room by Céline, his wife, who describes the suggestions of the day in an otherwise religious silence. For us, the day we went for lunch: an irresistible txangurro – shelled spider crab baked in its shell with a ttoro jus and breadcrumbs on top; a delicious plancha-grilled bass steak with golden potatoes, kale, diced baby squid, ximitxurri (chimichurri) sauce and romesco sauce made with green peppers, roasted tomatoes and hazelnuts; before a none-too-sweet Grand Marnier soufflé with a refreshing orange/Grand Marnier sorbet. // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? A few good bottles of natural wine, sold at reasonable prices: an Irrouléguy white from La Famille Berrouet (€5 a glass), a Rueda from Menade (€20 a bottle), a Côtes-du-Rhône red from the Domaine Gramenon (€30)…

PRICE: À la carte €38-55.

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