Le Fooding’s Best Bistro of 2008
Right near George Brassens’ former home (who happened to have a song called Le Grand Pan), Benoît Gauthier’s retro bistro (spotted tiling, an inlaid bar, glossy wooden tables) has been jolting taste buds awake since 2007. What’s on the menu? A dash of terroir and plenty of sophistication, cleverly doled out by this son of a Brives butcher who learned his trade under Christian Etchebest. Featured on the blackboard menu the day we went for lunch: a lovely green bean salad with broccoli, egg mayonnaise and a sprinkling of bottarga; tender suckling pig roasted for 36 hours and served with mushroom duxelles; before the grand finale, an almond cake with honey whipped cream, plus fresh and roasted figs. It’s also worth noting that the great classics (feathered game, Corrèze veal chops, etc.) are served à la carte and that there’s an impressive prix-fixe lunch menu – eg.: lentil salad with salmon gravlax; hake with sauce vierge and sauce basquaise. // M.R.
FEELING THIRSTY? There are a hundred intriguing labels to choose from: a Fiefs-Vendéens from Thierry Michon (€6.50 a glass), an Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits red from Jean-Claude Boisset (€42 a bottle)…
PRICE: Menu €22-30 (lunch), à la carte €30-50.