The years pass and Quinsou (“finch” in Occitan) sings just as sweetly as ever! The man behind the magic? Antonin Bonnet, taking it easy in his luxurious bistro (big mirrors, camel-toned banquettes, globe light fixtures) as he transforms first-rate ingredients into top-quality plates. The day we went for lunch, the €38 prix-fixe menu featured a heady tartare of Albacore tuna from Saint-Jean-de-Luz upgraded with caviar (+€9), plus a tomato condiment, pickled radish and shiso; fabulous squid from Saint-Guénolé lounging on a bed of grilled peppers, with small potatoes smoked over hay and an orgiastic squid ink vinaigrette, all sauced up with homemade bread prepared using heirloom wheat flours – or a plump sausage from the neighboring Boucherie Grégoire (one of the chef’s properties), with al dente haricots verts, coco de Paimpol beans and chard; before a delicious damson plum tart paired with fromage blanc ice cream and encircled by crushed amaretti. The stunning five- or six-course menus are also worth considering: eg.: smoked eel, squid ink vinaigrette, hay-smoked potatoes and purslane; roasted kabocha and red kuri squash, butternut squash purée, physalis and nasturtium; red mullet, sunchoke, purple beans, dill and a bouillabaisse sauce; cabbage with citrus, earl grey and orange infused whipped cream and lemon sorbet… // A.D.
FEELING THIRSTY? Place your trust in Olivier Dopke, the former sommelier at Les Déserteurs: a Roussillon red from the Domaine Danjou Banessy (€8 a glass), a Burgundy Chardonnay from the Domaine Sextant (€10), Les Corvées Sous Curon, an Arbois white from the Domaine de la Tournelle (€48 a bottle), a Cornas Brise-Cailloux from Matthieu Barret (€75)…
PRICE: Menus €38 and €54 (lunch) and €78 (food and wine pairings +€45).