After the recent gastronomic letdown of chef Philippe Etchebest’s Le Quatrième Mur in the opera house across the street, Bordeaux has finally gotten the stylish brasserie it’s been wanting with the opening of Le Bordeaux at the Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hôtel. Designer Jacques Garcia created a Belle Époque look for the space with Bordeaux upholstered chairs and 19th-century-style brass lamps, and the menu by British chef Gordon Ramsay is an appealing offer of comfort food dishes made with the excellent produce of southwestern France.
Lunching there recently, we began with some oysters from nearby Arcachon and then tucked into an impeccable terrine de foie gras successfully seasoned with Lillet, the Bordelais aperitif, and seared tuna with refreshing garnishes of avocado, Granny Smith apple, lime and herbs. Though the Beef Wellington for two was tempting, we tried the roast cod with piquillo peppers and grilled lettuce, and braised duck leg with prunes from Agen, and both were beautifully made. Among the side dishes, the onion rings with salsa and sauce gribiche were a sort of naughty high-calorific treat, and it was amusing to spot some kale, the omnipresent hipster vegetable, on this otherwise supremely Gallic menu. A perfect tarte Tatin and excellent coconut profiteroles concluded this very pleasant meal.
Ramsay also runs a gastronomic address at the same hotel, Le Pressoir d’Argent, and young Israeli chef Gilad Peled, who’d previously cooked with him in London, produces some exquisite dishes, including roasted veal sweetbreads with cep macaroni and Scottish venison with foie gras, red cabbage, parsnips, chocolate and sherry.
Le Bordeaux, 2-5 Place de la Comédie, Bordeaux. Tel. +33 (0)5 57 30 44 44. Average à la carte at Le Bordeaux €50; average à la carte at Le Pressoir d’Argent €150. Website: www.bordeaux.intercontinental.com
From France Today magazine