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Nov 19, 2007 06:01 AM

basque restaurants in paris

Hello, my son is a cook in a fine basque restaurant in the US and he and I will be visiting paris in dec. Can anyone recommend a great basque resto in paris. His chef comes from the French basque country and the food at their resto is heavily influenced by what is happening in the Spanish food scene. It would be interesting to see the state of basque cooking in France. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Au Bascou, 38 Rue Reamur, is a really good one. No stars but is listed in the Red Guide, no website that I know of.

    1 Reply
    1. re: f2dat06

      I happen to go to La Taverne Basque, 45, Rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th arr., M° Sèvres-Babylone.

      But there are quite some other Basque restos around. Get a Lebey or Michelin (Paris) guide. It might be interesting for your son being a cook to find out about the different cookings.

      You can also check the site mmm. The places are listed by arrondissements. Prefer the places with green (highly recommended) or grey (nice place) coffee pots.

    2. My favourite was Le Troquet (21 rue Francois-Bonvin 15eme). Always busy with locals, usually a couple of sittings a night and a good set menu. Run by a young team, you need to book a few days in advance especially at weekends.

      1. L'Ami Jean, in the 7th...many reviews on this site.

        1 Reply
        1. re: David W

          David, I don't believe "Chez L'Ami Jean" is really Basque anymore. It was originally a Basque bar and bistro and still has many of the decorations including the rugby posters. However, since Stephane Jego took it over he has moved the cooking to a broader based, more innovative style. There are occaisional Bsque dishes on the menu.

          It is a fantastic restaurant but others are more true to their Pays Basque roots.

        2. Over the years we have tried many of the Basque restaurants in Paris, and our personal favorites remain Le Troquet in the 15th (just fantastic food and an extremely good value), Au Bascou in the 3rd and the under acclaimed, under rated, inexpensive Auberge Jarente in the Marais, (on 7 rue de Jarente, 4th arr., phone:1 42 77 49 35).

          Given Le Troquet's fine reputation, one must reserve ahead, as PhilD suggests. The cuisine of highly regarded Pays Basque chef Christian Etchebest has become very well regarded among Parisian foodies, so the room will be lively and very crowded with locals.

          One of our favorites, La Taverne Basque, in the 6th, sadly has closed.

          And as PhilD has noted, L'Ami Jean, under chef Stephane Jego (who hails from Brittany and was second in command under Yves Camdeborde at La Regalade) can no longer be categorized as strictly French Basque, although it has maintained some of the Basque rugby and pelota decor and many dishes are Pays Basque inspired, or prepared with Pays Basque ingredients (Bayonne ham, Espelette peppers, Itxassou black cherries) with an Irouleguy wine or two still featured on the wine list.

          We weren't overly impressed by the small bistro L'Ourcine in the 13th whose chef, like Jego, who also did a stint at La Regalade, prepares many Basque inspired dishes. We would much rather dine at Chez L'Ami Jean for the same type of experience.

          1. Let me throw one more in the mix here:

            Oyez…! P’Axoa in the 14th: Winner of the Talbott Nicest but Slowest Service of the Year 2014 Award.

            5.2 Oyez…! P’Axoa, 118, blvd de Montparnasse in the 14th, (Metro: Vavin or ND des Champs) Not bad at all.

            8 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              Hasn't there been a dramatic expansion since this post? Christian Etchebest has expanded his Cantine du Troquet empire across Paris.

              And this may be stretching geography slightly but it's close enough - I would add Dans Les Landes.

              1. re: PhilD

                "Cantine du Troquet"
                I haven't found it or the Cantine de la Cigale or the Dernier Metro to be as all Basque as Oyez…! P’Axoa is.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  In my opinion Au Dernier Métro is the Basquest restaurant in Paris, because it serves everyday folksy food instead of fancified Parisian food with a Basque accent. Etchebest's places coming a close second.
                  I haven't tried P'axoa yet, but with a name like that it had better deliver.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    John -- Your header on your blog says Basque, in your text, you twice refer to the place as Corsican. The fact that you had stufattu says to me that it is a Corsican restaurant. Or is it schizophrenic (hence, the attraction for you? ;-) )?

                    1. re: onzieme

                      I'm going to revise the review to be clearer.

                    2. re: John Talbott

                      Definitely Corsican with a few pan-Med/ Italian dishes in the mix. Nothing Basque about it.

                      The more important question, where do the Elysée bodyguards hang out now that the Cave Beauvau is no more ?

                      1. re: Parnassien

                        "The more important question, where do the Elysée bodyguards hang out now that the Cave Beauvau is no more ?"

                        They're not Corsican like flics? ;-)

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          It has been revised and reposted on the Corsican thread; sorry for the confusion, my confusion or at least inconsistency.