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Aug 8, 2009 03:17 PM


We will be spending a week based in Bordeaux in Mid- September.
Would be grateful for recommendations in Bordeaux and vicinity.
Best regional Cuisine, as well.

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  1. Was in the city in June and ate very well at La Tupina's wine bar (no reservations, no tourists), which does a handful of simple dishes for modest prices, including the same cassoulet as the restaurant. Likely seasonal, but the sauteed mushrooms w/a fried egg were particularly good. La Tupina also has a table d'hote across from the main restaurant which has a communal table and 1 fixed meal. Also v much enjoyed Brasserie Bordelais ( excellent steak frites and good wines by the glass. Le Petit Commerce (22 Rue du Parlement Saint-Pierre
    Bordeaux, France gets good reviews for fish, though I didn't get a chance to eat there. In the Chatrons district in the north of the city, I found the best cannelles: ANTOINE, pâtissier 19, cours Portal. The cafe opposite the grand theatre--Le Regent?--was great for people-watching and Lillet-sipping. Enjoy!

    1. L'O de l'ha(or perhaps O de l'ha) is fine. Not the greatest but solid and the cost was not so much.
      Jean Ramet for a Mich star type of place. Staff is great, Madame Ramet is very sweet.
      Again, not the greatest of French cuisine but it is very good and generous and for price, it is in line with the quality. Those are both in th town of Bordeaux proper.
      Enjoy the vicinity.

      4 Replies
      1. re: dietndesire

        Brought this to the top, as there must be a don't miss restaurant in a City the size of Bordeaux.
        Would appreciate any further feedback.

        1. re: erly

          The 'don't miss' restaurant is not going to be Chapon Fin, I can tell you that, because they overcooked my veal chop. For the price I paid, that's unforgivable. I did not have a good meal at La Tupina either, my duck breast was tough and not juicy. If you go there, I suggest a table outside because they have a huge fire grill inside and it is much too hot. Jean Remet, I like, been there twice, last time when I had the squab, I was too polite at the table, so Madame Ramet brought out a bowl of water and gestured me to use my bare hands! There is this brasserie called Le Noailles, it is just a stone throw away from the Grand Theatre, on Tourny (if you see the merry-go-round, you are there). I tried their tournedos rossini and it was very good! Overall, you can eat very well in Bordeaux - there are so many restaurant within 10-15 min. walk from the Grand Theatre. Oh, another good one is La Belle Epoque along the river. I am going to Bordeaux next month too, one restaurant I like to try is '7e peche' (or 7th sin), a few blocks north from Jardin Public, let's hope the food is not too inventive! Cheers.

          1. re: morganwong

            Thanks for your suggestion.
            Chapon Fin has had very poor reviews.
            When asking for Hotel suggestions on Trip Adviser, I actually got a long personal message warning me about this Restaurant.
            How does it keep its Star?

            1. re: erly

              Totally agree re Chapon Fin - a dud restaurant. Thumbs up for the - Brasserie Bordelais -its relativly new, but a great wine list and perfect steak.

      2. Le Cape is most excellent. In all the books.

        John Talbott

        1. I have not eaten there, but a friend of mine lives about an hour from Bordeaux and concurs that La Tupina is the place to go. It is her favorite place in Bordeaux. I missed going there the last time I was in France, but look forward to trying it one day.

          Are you only limited to restaurants in Bordeaux the city or will you be traveling around the region? If so, there are many other restaurants in the area that are also worth trying.

          10 Replies
          1. re: ellenmg

            With the exception of Arachon. we expect all of our evening meals to be in Bordeaux
            Thanks to everyone, at least I now have a list for Bordeaux.
            Since discovering Chowhounds several years ago, we have not had the hit and miss experiences of the past.

            1. re: erly

              I love Arcachon! Chez Yvette doesn't have a water view, but does have great food, which is more important! In Bordeaux, next to the cathedrale is Bistro du Musee, where I had the best mussel bisque of my life. Further afield in St. Gervais is Au Sarment, one of my favorite restos in the world. Try to get a table in the garden! Have fun, and please report back!

              1. re: sarment

                We are home, and thought that since there is so little on Bordeaux here, that I would report back.
                Our best meal by far was not mentioned here
                1* Le Pavillion Des Boulevard.
                This was by far the best 1* that we have ever encountered.
                The 100E tasting menu, was multi course, and each inventive dish "worked".
                The finest ingredients, from fois gras to Caviar and blue Lobster.
                All beautifully presented.
                The Chef and owner Denis Frank and his wife Nelly make you comfortable from the time you walk into the door until you leave.
                Highly recommended.
                We also enjoyed La Tupina, as we wanted to try regional food.
                The portions are much too large.
                DH enjoyed his Fois Gras with Grapes, and the Shoulder of Lamb, but the portion was large to the point of being offputting.
                I had an excellent Scallop app., and ordered the Goose wing, which was more like a quarter of a Goose, and it was very tender.
                I will add to the list.

                1. re: erly

                  Erly, thanks for reporting back. My wife and I are going next month. Did you get out to the Medoc or St. Emilion by any chance? I'll probably start a new thread, but I wanted to check to see if you had any "can't miss" experiences out there. Thanks.

                  1. re: OCKevin

                    We did go to St. Emillion with a group organized by the Tourist office.
                    Very reasonable, and included an excellent Lunch and a wine tasting at a Chateau.
                    A tour of the entire area, as well.
                    Great value.
                    However St.Emillion is small and after visiting the Church,we were bored, as with the exception one well known pastry shop, it is all wine shops, and little else.
                    We hired a driver after this experience, and he was very reasonable, so that we could see more in less time.
                    If you want his name, just e-mail me, as this is a food board.
                    One day we had him drive us to Archachon, where we expected to have Oysters and Champagne.
                    He told us that although it isn't publicized because of tourism, the Oysters were not safe at the moment,
                    So we went to a Waterfront restaurant (it was a beautiful day) sat outdoors, and looked at the Ocean.
                    We were a bit suspicious about kickbacks, etc.
                    but were served the most wonderful lunch.
                    Gigantic plates of Mussels, Winkles, and Bullots. with Champagne.
                    I was exceptionally reasonable as well.
                    We had invited Richard our driver to join us.
                    They even brought us tastes of regional foods.
                    He told us that he would never take us to this Restaurant in Season, as it becomes a Tourist trap.
                    We loved Bordeaux and kept busy for eight days.

                    1. re: erly

                      I have found your postings on Bordeaux, which my wife and I will be visiting between in April (8-14), very helpful. Incidentally these dates fall between each of our 75th birthdays. We are particularly curious about your hiring of a driver: how did you arrange this and how much did it cost you? We have thought about vacating our room at our hotel (the Majestic) for one night to visit a chateau for dinner and over-night stay and would be interested in your comments on the practicality of doing this. I look forward to your comments and advice.

                      1. re: erly

                        Hi. Erly I just made reservations at le pavillion. Very excited. Can you give me the info on the driver you used. Does he speak English?


                        1. re: erly

                          What was the name of the restaurant you went to in Arcachon? Also, did you stay overnight there?

                          1. re: emilynyc

                            I didn't take a Card (too much Champagne) and all of the Seafront Restaurants look the same.I don't know when you are going but we were there Mid September, and were told that many of the Restaurants close by the end of the Month for the Season.
                            We did not sleep over.
                            Enjoy Bordeaux.

                      2. re: erly

                        Erly, can you please give me information about the driver you hired to drive you around Bordeaux? I'm planning a trip for the fall, and I'd love that information. Thanks!

                2. I have only just seen this.....

                  I am glad you enjoyed Bordeaux!

                  Very few locals go to La Tupina - unless they are lunching wine journos - La Cave de Bigourdie in Chartons is similar but wins hands down on ambiance and the final bill.

                  For a typical Bordelais meal - real 'south west cooking' I would go for 'Le cochon Volant' in Cappucins, which needs to be booked in advance and is open all night.

                  Try oysters and a glass of white wine at the market on the Quais - Chartrons, sunday lunchtime. Find somewhere to sit the moment the clock bongs midday.

                  Seafood - Archachon seafront or Chez Yvette, as already mentioned.

                  Lovely light and perfect lunches at the department store 'Galeries Lafayette'

         is great and a good place to try Lamprey cooked à la Bordelais..

                  I could go on and on......

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: nolbombol

                    <I could go on and on......>

                    Please, do!

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      In that case - will add a couple -

                      Café des Artes, where I am going this evening. Great food, best steak tartare in town and lots of Frenchmen in polo necks

                      La Belle Epoque and Les Noailles - waiters in long white aprons, art deco rooms and brasserie food as it should be served and eaten

                      Merci, on the waterfront, in the Summer. Book but avoid on Mondays (fish).

                      L'Estocade - sit on a wooden jetty (indoors or out) and eat great fish with all the twinkling lights of the rive gauche behind you.

                      Have never eaten good meal on rue St Remi or Place St Pierre. Edouard ok for lunch/dinner if everywhere else booked.

                      Just seen that I have spelled ARCACHON wrong.

                      Will go now and bath the baby!

                      1. re: nolbombol

                        We had a very enjoyable meal at La Belle Epoch as well
                        Both started with the Fois Gras which was perfectly grilled.
                        DH had the the Lamb with Figs which he really enjoyed.
                        I did not like my main course, which I thought was the Southwestern version of Paella
                        The Gambas were cooked to rubber, the Chorizo was I suspect the specks of red in the rice, and it was rather tasteless.
                        Highly recommend this restaurant, but avoid this dish.
                        We arrived in Bordeaux quite late and noticed that Les Noailles was steps from our hotel, so we had dinner there the first night.
                        We both started with oysters (I had not yet learned about the oyster problem).
                        I had a scallop dish. Don't remember the details, but remember that it was excellent.
                        DH ordered the Calf Liver and thought it was excellent.One drawback with this Restaurant.
                        We had no sooner picked up the menu when the server appeared to take our order.
                        We needed to tell him that we required time to scan the menu
                        Once we ordered the Oysters appeared almost instantly, and when cleared, the mains appeared.
                        We were in and out in no time at all, and felt too rushed.

                        1. re: erly

                          I'm planning on being in the area in December and will definitely make note of some of those suggestions. We'll just be there for one night and will probably be looking for something with local/traditional cuisine, a decent wine list, and maybe something with a little atmosphere/not too stuffy (we are 30ish). I was thinking of La Belle Epoch, Cafe Des Artes, or Le Cochon Valant. Do those look like the makings of a reasonable shortlist?

                          Does anyone have any other restaurant recommendations for the Northern Medoc or near Sauternes?

                          1. re: kejsphs

                            I would definitely go for the Cochon volant - ate at the Café des Arts a couple of nights ago and the steak tartare was mediocre, it used to be packed out and it wasn't and the meal served told us why....

                            Think Belle Epoque is more fun at lunchtime than dinner. L'Instant Quai, round the corner, is also a good bet.

                            If you book Cochon Volant, it is in the old market area of town (Cappucins, named after the original monks!), and accessible by tram, but I would get a taxi back to the hotel at the end of the evening.

                            I would ask at the tourist board which chateaux have restuarants in the region you are visiting. Have had some interesting meals in great surroundings - with wines to match - in various chateaux.


                            for example.

                    2. re: nolbombol

                      I think La Tupina is OK but the dishes are a bit hit/miss. The foie gras with grapes was very nice and the cote de boeuf just looked impressive on the table as you enter. Personally I'd avoid the lamproie...