El Xadic del Mar

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Positioned behind the multicolored tile bar of this Lilliputian wine bar with vintage furniture aplenty, Manu Desclaux pays homage to the southern terroir with natural wines and a blackboard menu filled with good things. A few of his Catalan treats: grilled carn de parol (headcheese) with a Béa de Roussillon potato salad; steamed razor clams with grilled pata negra ham and ras el-hanout; delightful flash-seared cuttlefish from Llançà with cumin-seasoned vegetables from Salanque (baby eggplant and turnips, crisp haricots verts, peas, broccoli, asparagus); very fresh wild sea bream from Port-la-Nouvelle cooked in the oven, plus escalivade and a locally-grown wasabi sauce; and for the very fresh dessert, recuite de brebis (a sheep’s milk whey cheese) from Bordier, placed atop a fruit salad – strawberry, melon, kiwi, candied kumquat, basil and a thyme-rosemary jus. // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? The best the region has to offer: Paris Trouillas, a white from Potron Minet (€4 a glass), Les Copines, a red from Jean-Louis Tribouley (€18 a bottle) or Pedres Blaques from Rié and Hirofumi Shoji (€31).

PRICE: Plates €8-13, charcuterie and cheeses €9-15.

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