Pépite (Toulouse)

© Hadrien Gonzales

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Is Pépite (“gem” in English) a fitting title? In any case, Grégoire Allières sure gives his all to this pretty bistro (a pale green façade, bare bricks, white banquettes) so that it lives up to the name! The other day at lunch, on the delightful menu crafted by the energetic Mathieu Karunagaran (ex-Ducasse): irreproachable plancha-grilled small red mullets with a cream of zucchini and sage sauce, black olives, preserved lemon and powdered eggplant; very fresh line-caught mackerel cooked with a torch, squid ink fregola sarda, arugula-pine nut pesto, sesame seeds and dill; before the very simple and tasty dessert, an organic fruit salad with a caramelized jus. At night, Mathieu whips more delicious things up with ease, such as a mullet tartare dressed with fig and mint, an Aubrac hanger steak served with butternut squash, or even a plum pavlova for dessert. // P.L.

FEELING THIRSTY? Holy wines: a Roussillon white produced by Jean-Louis Tribouley (€5 a glass) or a Catalan white from Partida Creus (€24 a bottle), a sparkling Loire rosé from the Domaine Jousset (€21), a Rhone red from the Soulier brothers (€25)… Corkage fee: +€6.

PRICE: Dish of the day €12, set lunch menus €16-20. À la carte €34-42 (dinner).

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