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Le Petit Commerce. Photo by csaba_bajko.
If “wine” is what you think of when you hear “Bordeaux,” it’s for good reason. The city reflects the region’s wine production expertise, and the best way for a visitor to experience this tradition may well be one of the region’s many traditional vineyard tours that are a time-honored way to get to know the fruit of Bordeaux.
Bordeaux is a city of tradition, as exemplified by its wine and art. Yet it is also a city for the young (and the young at heart). This is perhaps best personified by its growing reputation as having one of Western Europe’s best nightlife and creative—even innovative—wine bar and bistro scenes.
Le Petit Commerce (photo above) remains a favorite of locals unphased by the departure of über-chef Thierry Marx, who packed his two Michelin stars in 2010 to head to Paris to open Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx at the Mandarin Oriental. Under one roof you have a wine cave, bistro known for its grilled fish and tapas served until the wee hours. The vibe is young and friendly, more locals than tourists. What’s not to like? We say skip the roof and sip under the open night sky on the terrace.
La Robe in Bordeaux. Publicity photo.
La Robe is a casual wine bar and bistro that serves only wine produced by women paired with a contemporary, creative menu. The wine list is rich and their high-quality, low-priced lunch and dinner prices (€9-14 for lunch formula or €20 for dinner starter with main course or main course with dessert) are a welcome surprise for travelers seeking value. Menus change seasonally, but with an emphasis on locally-sourced bistro favorites from starter through dessert, there’s little chance you won’t leave satisfied.
Brasserie Bordelaise. Publicity photo.
Brasserie Bordelaise has a huge wine selection and well-known restaurant, but sit at the bar for charcuterie and you’ll be set. Expect a wait, this is a hot destination. Most people go for a hearty steak paired with a big red, but there are vegetarian and lighter tapas options, too. Oysters, fish, duck, veal…it’s all here presented in a very lively setting.
Bordeaux Tourism Office [English]
Bordeaux is three hours from Paris-Gare Montparnasse by fast train.
PHOTO CREDITS: Publicity photos used with photo by csaba_bajko published per Creative Commons 3.0 license.
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