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Dec 28, 2010 06:39 AM


Anyone have feelings to share on this topic? I'm not finding much on the boards. I'll be in the old town for two nights with no car and a light wallet after a week in Spain. What's going to give me a taste for the area without sending me back to Paris broke?

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  1. The best restaurants will be in the old town and particularly along the Nive.
    Try La Grange (quai Gauperie, on the banks of the Nive).
    And La Garburada Rose on rue d'Espagne (chef Alain Darroze). Be prepared for hearty and delicious soups (garbure).
    And since you're there for 2 nights, try the cidreries in the same neighborhood: Chez Txotx (near the market), Cidrerie Ttipia (rue des Cordeliers)...
    Do not hesitate to drop by the Musée basque, Basque history and art are extremely interesting. And do not miss L'Atelier du Chocolat (but don't break the bank).

    1. On the right bank, you can try the 1* Cheval Blanc. I went there twice, once before the economic downturn, and once after. The valet is long gone, and the prix fixe menu is even more affordable. If you are adventurous, you can pay 90 euro and let the chef 'surprise' you. Francois Miura is also on the right bank, close to the river, I had a fabulous lunch there. The up and coming has to be La Feuillantine on the left bank. I had a good meal there last year also. I was impressed.

      1. Perfect! Thanks for the help. We rolled into town the night of a rugby match and found most places fully booked. Had a great time at the match and then ended up having a decent, kinda forgettable meal at Au Coeur des Hommes.

        The next day we hit Chez Txotx for some cidre before our dinner at La Garburada Rose. Loved that place. My wife and I shared the €20 "Nique la Crise" and €28 Garbure menus. The first was a fun, nicely done assemblage of small dishes- foie gras velouté, pan roasted quail, boudin noir, scallop "tarte tatin", tête de veau nems. The garbure menu was a pot of soup as big as your head, plus cheese and dessert. Way too much in a good way. Our server was friendly and helpful and the chef stopped by to check in.

        We showed perhaps too much restraint at l'Atelier du Chocolate, but we did pick up a gift at Lionel Raux, another chocolatier right by the market. Didn't taste anything, but it looked like great stuff and I saw a lot of L. Raux boxes walking around town.

        Yesterday it was a Basque sing-a-long at the market and then oysters and wine in the sun on the pont. We loved Bayonne and hope to return someday. La Feuillantine will definitely be on the list for net time. The menu looked interesting and well-priced.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jeffmpls

          I see you had an enjoyable time. I'm glad you made the most of it.

          Next time, try not to miss La Grange, the place was the only one recommended by Arnaud Daguin when I asked him where to eat in Bayonne.

          Was Alain Darroze wearing his light blue béret?

          1. re: Ptipois

            La Grange was a near miss. The carte was a little more than we wanted to spend and the formule, while affordable, didn't really grab us. Next time for sure.

            No beret, but I think I recall a handsome red neckerchief.

            1. re: jeffmpls

              Follow up to this thread above: I have two hours between trains (2 pm -4 pm) and wondered if there are any recommend places to sit and have lunch close to the Bayonne train station? I'll be with my 88 yr old great-auntie who is exceptionally spry (but not up for hikes).

              1. re: Piccolina

                Restaurant Le Bistrot Sainte Cluque, which is across from the gare (9 Rue Hugues) does not have any charm of Bayonne proper, the food is not bad.
                I just checked. It closes at 2pm.
                All the nicer bistros - which probably have similar lunch hours, which means no dice, - are in the old town across the river. Not that far but you really don't have enough time, even if your grand-aunt runs marathons.
                Can you get yourself a nice picnic that morning, or the day before, like a nice jar of foie gras and a bottle of red, pastries, etc.? That's what I would do instead of running around hoping a nearby restaurant would be open off lunch hour.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Ah, Parigi, you give good counsel... Thanks, I had my suspicions about restaurants being closed during this time and appreciate your confirmation. I suspect we'll do as you recommend. Perhaps, there's a nice spot nearby you can recommend where the four of us can sit and picnic? We'll be heading to Lourdes from Bayonne, so I think it will be nice to stretch our legs. Would be nice if we could stay a little longer, but next time. :o)

                  1. re: Piccolina

                    The train station is one short block from the riverside, from which you should have a nice view of the eautiful Bayonne skyline. I remember all along the two rivers, we often just sat by the several steps that go up to the bridges. Dunno if your great aunt can do that. There are cafés on the old side of the river, not sure on the train station side. What are you going to do with your luggage though?
                    You can have a much better concept of the geography if you use Google Map. Input "Bayonne gare, France".

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Very helpful, Parigi. I will investigate. Thanks again!