As a budget traveler, I eat all free food that comes my way. So, naturally, in Italy I ate every bite of pasta, pizza and Nutella sandwiches that my host mothers gave me. Yet, for all my expectations for Italian cuisine, I never put a bite in my mouth there and sprinted for a pen and paper and pleaded with the chef to write down the recipe. That happened for the first time in Bordeaux. At every meal I ate, save one. The way I was happily moaning and pleading for more food, my hosts Ben and Luce must have thought I grew up hoping for stale bread and butter.
I cannot possibly list all the good food I ate. So I am just throwing out one restaurant and one dish recommendation that you must try when in Bordeaux.
South of France Speciality Dish: Duck Confit
Ben told me he was making me duck for dinner but, as an American, I would probably be grossed out by the grease. “Ha! Please,” I responded, “I’ve spent enough time in the South to know my way around battered meats.” But holy canard! He brought out a tub of lard and started drowning the poor bird. He lathered on the layers and threw that duck on the grill with only some garlic as company. The result was heavenly.
Restaurant Recommendation: Scopitone
Luce grew up in the town of Pau on a Foie Gras-production farm (they fattened up Geese there and “harvested” their livers) and she takes cooking very seriously. Scopitone is her favorite restaurant in the city so you can trust it is a worthwhile stop beyond my unrefined American palate. We ordered five “half” appetizers, at 5-8 euros each, so we could sample a wide range of dishes. I particularly enjoyed the Tuna Tartare and Goat Cheese/Vegetable Spread.