La Co(o)rniche

La Co(o)rniche (Pyla-sur-Mer)

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The place with the most incredible view of the Arcachon Bay got a makeover back in 2010, and it’s been bringing a little excitement back to the local gentry ever since. With Philippe Starck in charge of the design, restaurateur and former rugby player William Téchoueyres sure hit the nail on the head: vintage black and white tile floors, elegant potted plants, a big kitchen/bar, an immense dining room decked out in white tones, a huge raised terrace, an infinity pool, incredible views… In short, it’s a factory of dreams brought to life by the impersonal staff (all dressed in white, as well), catering to the whims of the moneyed clientele who appear more excited by looks than by what’s on the plates: local Bidart or Gillardeau oysters, Aquitaine caviar, Italian-style steak tartare… or, on the evening’s prix-fixe menu: stunning lacquered octopus with cucumber, cream cheese, ginger and preserved lemon maki; an Eastern-inspired oeuf parfait with chickpea salad, pickled grapes and taggiasche olives spiced with ras el-hanout; really good roasted monkfish with eggplant cream and vegetables en escabèche; before an incredibly buttery Paris-Pyla (a deconstructed Paris-Brest) for dessert. // Y.N.

FEELING THIRSTY? There’s organic Starck lager (€10 for 350 ml) and a very Bordeaux-centric wine list: a Pessac-Léognan red from the Château Larrivet Haut-Brion (€8 a glass), a Caillou Blanc from the Château Talbot (€65 a bottle)… Unless you’d rather opt for a 2001 Sauternes from the Château d’Yquem (€1,480).

PRICE: Oysters €28-40 for a dozen, shellfish platters €4-85, à la carte €59-91 (lunch during the week), menus €63-68 (dinner).

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