March 28, 2012

Le Petit Commerce, delectable Bordeaux dining

 

One of the most wonderful things about traveling in Europe is the fact that it is easy and often just as cheap to buy airline tickets a few days before you're planning on going somewhere. To me, this has meant that the long road back from the holiday season has been punctuated by several, almost entirely, unexpected trips to places like Bordeaux, Angouleme, Berlin, Cazorla (Jaen) and Colorado.

Each of these unique and wonderful cities provided a perfect getaway, great company, lovely sights and delicious delicious food.

I'll start with the charming French cities of Bordeaux and Angouleme, a two-part destination that has become an almost yearly trek for us at the end of January for the International Festival of Bande Dessine√© (Comic book festival). This incredible festival takes place in the striking Medieval town of Angouleme, which is entirely given over to this world-renowned event. Of course the deal is that any trip to Angouleme must begin or end with a day or two in the graceful and elegant city of Bourdeaux, which is connected by air to Madrid and by train to Angouleme.  The other part of the deal involves visiting our favorite restaurants in both cities and, whenever possible, discovering new ones.

Le Petit Commerce
This year's new winner charmed me so completely that we enjoyed both the first and the last meal of our trip at this lively neighborhood bistro. Le Petit Commerce specializes in fabulously cooked fish such as cod, bass, monk fish and sole, as well as a huge variety of other dishes. The mussels (those small, cute French ones) were the best I've ever had, with a delicate smokey flavor imparted by the wood fire that they were cooked over and devoid of unnecessary adornments. The oysters were succulent, juicy, creamy and perfectly chilled and the cod with B√©arnaise sauce was amazingly buttery and tender, and so large a portion that I don't know how it could have formed part of the 12 Euro midday menu. In addition to fish and shellfish, the restaurant's selection of equally delicious meats includes the perfectly cooked (huge) duck magret that my companion ordered. To wash it down, there is an extremely affordable selection of understandably, mainly Bordeaux wines which yielded some (I won't reveal how many) outstanding bottles for less than 20 Euros apiece. 

Le Petit Commerce shellfish bar

Finally, if this weren't enough, the restaurant has recently opened a new shellfish bar right across the street, adorned with cheerfully checked tablecloths, bright open windows and shellfish that are so beautifully arranged that you feel like the shrimp are standing up and clapping with joy to see you come in.

Le Petit Commerce
22 Rue Parlement St Pierre
33000 Bordeaux, France
+33 (0)5 56 79 76 58





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