Bordeaux is not just a city good for wine, I discover while there. What adds to it allure is its cuisine, which is full of interesting flavors and aromas.
Bordeaux is at its liveliest on Friday evening, when cheerful locals getting off work head for the park, the restaurants and bars. On this particular day, the sun is shining, its beams making wine glasses sparkle like stained glass. It’s warm outside. Young and old are dressed impeccably, light jackets for cooler nights draped around their shoulders. Tables and chairs clutter many of the city’s squares.
This used to be a dirty, dark and overcrowded city, plagued by disease and war. But as the renaissance of Bordeaux continues, a new wave of cafés and bars create a happy, convivial vibe in the heart of town. On every street corner, people are huddled together, eating sophisticated local meals at outdoor bistros. The city's fame has only increased since French celebrity chef Philippe Etchebest starting running the Café Opera in Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre, while Joël Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay have also opened branches of their restaurant empires.
I go for a meal at La Brasserie Bordelaise, which serves a wide range of local food at less stratospheric prices than the big names of the culinary world. The place is filled to the brim. Waiters run around with platters of cheese and portable meat slicers. Admittedly, I am quite hesitant about the rather exotic-looking menu, but I ignore my doubts and go all-in by just ordering everything I can’t pronounce. I soon find myself eating plates full of local delicacies, including pig intestines filled with indiscernible meats and duck confit. The mains are topped by a canelé, a sweet, soft pastry with a caramelized crust.
An acquired taste, yet full of interesting flavors.
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