Posted on Sep 1, 2020 at 4:52 PMUpdated Sep 1, 2020, 5:11 PM

In Paris: Les Climats, creative neoclassical

Arrived from Epicure in 2019, the young chef Emmanuel Kouri had until then hardly had the leisure to display his entire register. A step has been taken with the new menu of Climats, creative but without flashiness, which goes well with the Art Nouveau style of a place renowned for its Burgundies. Its touch of land-sea trend appears from the bites of flame-grilled sardines slipped with small candied old tomatoes pimped with nasturtium leaf juice, with small gray shrimps with condiments (salicornia and mertensia, with oyster flavor) top the asparagus heads with fresh horseradish sabayon or the clams that adorn a perfectly marbled spinach turbot and just charred.

Where is it : 41, rue de Lille, 75007 Paris. Phone. : 01 58 62 10 08.

In Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle: back to basics at L’Auberge Basque

“Nature is the chef here! “ At the Auberge Basque of Cédric and Marion Béchade, the culinary mass is said from the entrance. We like to eat local and seasonal, we like the cuisine of the moment, lively, identity and intuitive of the chef, where the alchemy of flavors competes with that of original associations, or else we go our own way. This is evidenced by the restaurant’s large aromatic garden, already planted with purple shiso with aromas of cumin, nasturtiums with the scent of watercress, honeyed yarrow … In the fruit garden, the kiwis will even join combavas, fig trees and other serviceberry trees. An ode to the short circuit and to seasonality.

Where is it : L’Auberge Basque, D 307, old road to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Helbarron district, 64310 Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. Phone. : 05 59 51 70 00.


In La Baule: invitation to travel to La Palmeraie

It is not from the sands of the Orient but of western California that La Palmeraie, a sublime oasis in downtown Baul, draws its inspiration. The lucky ones might have the opportunity to test the hotel, adorned with raw wood, glasswort and touches of gold. Others can console themselves on the rooftop, in the shade of palm trees, or in the restaurant, run by chef Maxime Bobin. A refined, local and seasonal menu, focused on fish: squid tentacles – perfectly cooked – with pesto, pollack with white butter and Valrhona chocolate tart and peanuts.

Where is it : 7, avenue des Cormorans, 44500 La Baule-Escoublac. Phone. : 02 51 10 58 51.

In Nieul: chic picnic at La Chapelle Saint-Martin

In Nieul, less than ten minutes from the center of Limoges, the intimate hotel of La Chapelle Saint-Martin (fourteen rooms and suites, starred chef) launched its “beehives to eat”, an original chic and uninhibited picnic service in the heart of a magnificent 40-hectare park. Six “spots” that can be privatized (from four to eight people) have been set up at a good distance from each other, all equipped with a “pantry” hive which is full of food. Chef Gilles Dudognon goes in person with his food truck to place the cast iron casserole dish on the brazier, where the dish of the day is already simmering.

Where is it : 33 route Saint-Martin du Fault, 87510 Nieul. Phone. : 05 55 75 80 17.


In Paris: the Choupinet rejuvenates Luxembourg

Finished Luxembourg from Place Edmond Rostand, at the top of the “Boulmich” and facing the “Luco”. Make way for Choupinet. Benjamin Artis, the boss, has left the very clubby world of the night to settle down here by giving a facelift – contemporary art and green ceilings – to this very traditional brasserie yesterday. No fuss but good home cooking, well sourced products and reasonable prices. The menu – from eggs mayo to roast chicken, including tarama, Burgundy snails, vitello tonnato, veggie burger or gluten-free penne (no wheat pasta!) Has something to suit all tastes. Finally, the cakes of Carl Marletti, best pastry chef 2009 who runs a shop down the rue Mouffetard, do not spoil the pleasure.

Where is it : 758, boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris. Phone. : 01 42 03 09 93.

In Vayres: Rigothier wins the Moon

Gone are Parisian tables like Laurent, Le Baudelaire and La Scène Thélème, where he won a star. Pierre Rigothier and his wife went to Gironde on their own to revisit, in a “country house” style, an inn located in the heart of the Graves region and renamed Lune. Confined, the chef has locked down his local supplies (poultry and pork from the Barthes farm in Camarsac, meat from the Girondins Breeders, herbs and vegetables from the Eau à la Bouche farm in Le Pout, Saint- fish auction. Jean-de-Luz …) and refined a lively and elegant menu, where marinated trout from the Pyrenees rubs shoulders with veal braised with black olive, chicken supreme or magret with cherries.

Where is it : 56, avenue de Libourne, 33870 Vayres. Phone. : 05 47 84 90 98.

In Paris: comfort at La Gentiane

When you push open the door of La Gentiane, an endearing bistro located in the Montparnasse district, you change world. You are no longer in Paris. Dozens of bottles of gentian, the old-fashioned and deliciously bitter liqueur that gives the establishment its name, fill the shelves. The atmosphere is good franquette, the family and efficient service, the cuisine simple and amazing. Attack with the Lyonnaise salad, or the mimosa leeks (we love them), or why not with one of the house specialties, the Basque pork carpaccio. The must: the waffle with whipped cream and chocolate “Monsieur Paul”.

Where is it : 4, rue Stanislas, 75006 Paris. Phone. : 01 45 48 11 39.

In Paris: 228 liters, cellar and tapas

Meet in the south of Pigalle to discover the sharp and warm wine bar of the Renauld brothers. It is in a woody and vegetal atmosphere that Pierre and Louis – in their twenties – have been offering a strong menu of 500 references since 2018, highlighting living wines, from nature to great Burgundy. Respect for the product is also felt on the plate, with sourced dishes, ranging from 36-month-aged ham to Marcel Petite Comté, all accompanied by ultra-fresh bread from Thierry Breton.

Where is it : 3 rue Victor Massé, 75009 Paris. Phone. : 01 71 60 51 57. Open 7 days a week.


In Giverny: escape to the Jardin des Plumes

How about going to dine in Giverny, at David Gallienne, the star winner of Top Chef? The experience is not lacking in charm, it allows you to compare your views as a viewer with the reality of the plate. On the menu, during our visit, a parade of seven small dishes, at least three or four of which amazed us, starting with this succulent gambero rosso tartlet crowned with radish. Delicious in their simplicity, the chef’s “gnudi” (small balls of ricotta cooked like gnocchi), drizzled with a fragrant broth of tomato water. Another nice achievement, this Saint-Pierre roasted on an Etretat pebble, precisely cooked, served with a bulb of fennel and a concentrated bouillabaisse sauce. A subtle and very personal cuisine.

Where is it : Le Jardin des Plumes: 1, rue du Milieu 27620 Giverny. Phone. : 02 32 54 26 35.

In Saint-Malo: Ar Iniz digs its furrow

In three years at Ar Iniz, chef Michaël Schier and his partner Cindy have established the table of this bourgeois house renovated into a three-star hotel as one of the finest along the Sillon. Fine products, technical mastery and intelligent associations produce beautiful dishes without fuss, such as this delicate lobster tatin and its very tender Roscoff onions in yellow wine or this monkfish seared with black sesame and beef heart tomato, lively on the palate, served with a subtle creamy risotto with parmesan and artichoke. The airy Pavlova with citrus fruits and verbena testifies to a fine know-how when it comes to desserts. Nice effort on the wines, very accessible.

Where is it : 8 boulevard Hébert, 35400, Saint-Malo. Phone. : 02 99 56 01 19.