Following my trip to Seoul (and during the wait before trips to Pouliguen, Sao Paolo, New-York and Hanoi), here’s an account of my little romp in the Basque country with five or six eminently recommendable places.
As soon as I arrived, I hopped in a rental car and headed off for lunch at Chez Mattin. If you're looking for pure, unadulterated authenticity in an atmosphere of real appreciation and enjoyment of eating, then this is your place. There's a working-class clientele made up of sailors with sunburned faces, retired people with porcelain features, families and groups of friends. Try the exquisite and famous le toro, a soup with a base of monkfish, mussels, and langoustines. Taste it with an eye towards appreciating the nobility of a concoction with a silky texture and seasoning that precisely accents the flavors. It was enough to set my toes tapping. I also had a coffee dessert that was awfully good…Always some nice surprises when you order off-menu.
Chez Mattin 63, rue Evariste Baignol, at Ciboure (05.59.47.19.52). Figure 30 euros. Map