Tandem (Grabels)

© Tandem

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In this spacious bistro that once belonged to Les Caves Notre Dame, just a few miles outside of Montpellier, chefs Sébastien Misseri and Morgna Germain created a Swiss army knife of a space with Carla Escudero, Seb’s mamma: there’s a restaurant corner, a wine corner and a cocktail corner all squeezed into a space that feels both stylish (timeworn wood, high leather barstools, wooden rafters) and like a highway inn (a massive dining room, ugly grey tiling). That August lunchtime, Carla had made the trip over to taste her son’s cuisine (and also dabble in the desserts!). He prepared some fiery flavors, including a delicious octopus tostada with pickled red onion, fresh herbs (cilantro, dill, etc.), olives and avocado, with a punchy chipotle mayonnaise for some added zing; an incredibly refreshing bluefin tuna tartare decked out with blanched cherry tomatoes and pumpkin seeds, sitting in bergamot liqueur tomato water; a gigantic enchilada filled with shredded chicken in chipotle sauce, black beans, Isigny crème fraîche, sliced avocado and feta; then a good chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries or a slice of pineapple cake with coconut ice cream. // Gwen Jacquère  

FEELING THIRSTY? : Around 30 wines, most of which are natural: Barrocco, an organic Languedoc cinsault from the Domaine de Cambis (€5 a glass), Strate, a great Larzac white from Le Clos Constantin (€30 a bottle), a legendary Hérault white from Le Mas Jullien (€78) or Ying Yang, a Pays-d’Oc red from the Domaine du Sauzet (€22). 
PRICE: : Set menu €26 to €33 (lunch), à la carte €37-51. 

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