In the 10 years we’ve been coming to the Bordeaux region, we have sought out many of the good restaurants.  However, new ones are always cropping up, and there are some we have missed.
 
Including one in our own little village of Cestas-Gazinet. 
 
Clos Tassigny.  N250.  Old golden stone house with crinkled peach tablecloths, candles, stone floors, and a relaxed atmosphere.  We had just arrived from the airport hotel.  Due to jet lag, we limited the wine to a half bottle of 1998 Chateau Malleprat Pessac Leognan.  The first course included chicken pate studded with foie gras and chopped raisins, as well as a puff pastry with foie gras.  The main courses were pave of beef, cooked perfectly, and a delicate salmon steak with a light cream sauce.  Both dishes included excellently seasoned potatoes au gratin and finely chopped eggplant and squash cooked with Provencal spices and garlic.  No dessert was necessary, but a small cheese plate of goat cheese, Brie de Meaux  and a mild St. Nectaire complemented the meal.  We would rate the meal a B+.  We spoke with the older couple sitting next to us, and picked their brains for other good restaurants.  For some reason, all the new targets are near the seacoast and the Arcachon basin:
 
a.  La Gueriniere, Gujan Mestras.
b.  Le Patio, Arcachon
c.  La Cote du Sud, Pyla sur Mer
d.  Restaurant Gerard Tissier, Pyla sur Mer
 
In the city of Bordeaux on Tuesday, around the corner from the House of Japan, we found a quiet haven:
 
Restaurant du Loup.  66 Rue du Loup.  It’s been a restaurant since 1932, and has art deco furnishings, columns, old dark wood, pink double tablecloths, and a very warm welcome by Martine, the owner.  We considered the inexpensive 11 and 16 euro lunch menus, but finally chose the 23 euro 4-course menus.  The first courses included cubes of tomatoes and cucumbers strewn with dill, and little toasts with tapenade.  My first course was several triangles of shrimps deep fried with a spicy dipping sauce.  The wine:  a 2004 Chateau Coquillas Pessac Leognan.  We both ordered the delicious pork tenderloin with potatoes, all of which just melted in the mouth.  The third course consisted of a single slice of Brie de Meaux at room temperature.  Desserts were light because of the intense heat.  There was a apricot sorbet with fresh fruit, and Steve had a brick of almond ice cream with fresh strawberries.  The chef was big on decorating the edges of all the plates with ribbons of red and yellow sauces.  We rated the meal an A and would return.
 
Lastly, on Wednesday, after a long bicycle ride on some rather bumpy bike paths through the spicy resinous pine forest, we settled down at a pizzeria in the beach town of Porges.  It was so hot that we just ordered salads.   Three of us liked the salad with smoked duck breast, foie gras melted on toast (greasy), with peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and corn.  I had the Nordic salad of little pink shrimps, smoked salmon,corn, tomatoes and creme fraiche.  It was served up by a 25 year old law and business grad who has shucked it all to go constantly traveling – to India, to Bangkok, Indonesia and South America. 
 
To work off the salad and the bottle of wine, we climbed the white dune and plunged into the 75 degree Atlantic, strolling along its pristine, deep golden sands.  The temperatures outside reached 90 degrees and as we returned to the gite, a long line of cars was still en route to the beach for relief.
 
During the past week, it has become perfectly clear to us that French food is still delicious, and that nothing can compare!
 
Claudia and Steve
9/7/06

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