Le Fooding Guide’s Best Restaurant of 2007
It’s already been 11 years since Iñaki Aizpitarte began attracting the crème de la crème of the international foodosphere to his legendary, bistronomic Le Châteaubriand. With its old zinc-topped bar and the general patina of the place, the carte blanche menu (€70) always draws in a crowd: an explosive shot of avocado ceviche; insane goat cheese ravioli, dipped in a fiery beetroot broth; brutalist strips of cuttlefish from Saint-Jean-de-Luz paired with blanched seasonal vegetables (peas, artichokes…), surfing on an Iberian pork jus; an unforgettable line-caught John Dory, miraculously cooked and served with crisp radicchio, slices of pomelo and an olive brunoise; a flamboyant slow-cooked Kriaxera duck suprême with a cloud of braised cabbage intensified by the addition of a few berries; and, finally, an incredible Tocino de cielo – a caramelized and then flame-charred egg, placed atop an almond dacquoise, which you could order blindly! And to pair with all that, a naturalist playlist some 60 pages thick, that’s open to the world at large: a striking VDP Nolem 2014 from Manuel Landron and Marion Pescheux (€6 a glass), a splendid South African Cortez 2015 from Craig Hawkins (€12), amongst other magic potions from David Prinčič or Garcia Viadero… Set menu: €70 (€135 with food and wine pairings). // G.L.P.