27, Rue Malar
Keywords: French See all and suggest more
First reviewed by Laurent
The first time I went to L'Ami Jean, my plane had been cancelled and I had just checked back into a hotel a few blocks away that evening. I did not bother to call friends about dinner since I was due back at the airport at 7 am the next morning and in a bad mood after the hours at the airport. I went there on my own, had charcuterie at the bar for at least an hour and ended up sitting at a table with seven perfect strangers I had met at the bar. Many hours later, we were still having digestif and heated conversations about French politics when the chef/owner joined us. I ended picking up my baggage at the hotel on the way to the airport at five in the morning. The next few meals I had there were unfortunately not so dramatic, but the food is incredibly creative and sophisticated for a south-west restaurant. My family is from the south-west so I love earthy food. This chef (from Britanny interestingly) brings an interesting twist without betraying the spirit.
L'Ami Jean, under chef Stephane Jego (who hails from Brittany and was second in command under Yves Camdeborde at La Regalade) can no longer be categorized as strictly French Basque, although it has maintained some of the Basque rugby and pelota decor and many dishes are Pays Basque inspired, or prepared with Pays Basque ingredients (Bayonne ham, Espelette peppers, Itxassou black cherries) with an Irouleguy wine or two still featured on the wine list.