Last week, I talked about my favourite go-to spot in Biarritz. This week, I’ll introduce you to my must-go resto in Bayonne.
Since I have my physiotherapy sessions in Bayonne a couple of times a week, I spend quite a lot of time in good ol’ Bayonne. And when lunch time comes, one must eat, non? ????
Having walked by La Table de Pottoka many, many times before, I also knew it was one of the top rated restaurants in Bayonne. Situated right next to the Nive River, it would be hard to miss its modern blue exteriors.
One sunny day, before my rdv at the prefecture, I decided to bite the bullet. As destiny would have it, I secured a seat on the terrace sans reservations — *cue a choir of angels* — the Food Gods were in my favour muahahaha!
On that fateful day, I ordered the ‘plat du jour’ which was the ‘daurade royale cremeux de carottes et citron yuzu, condiment aux kumquats et roquette,’ a lightly fried sea bream fish filet that was topped with fried vegetable crisps on a bed of arugula and parmesan, accompanied with a spread of carrot purée and a small dose of lemon yuzu sauce. Half of me felt reluctant to dig in seeing as the dish in front of me was pure artistry on a plate. Just wow. Or waou as the French say!
But dig in, I did! From start to finish, every bite felt as if I was high-fiving myself to celebrate what a good choice I made by coming to La Table de Pottoka ???? My pinchables tend to lead me in the right direction ???? #notsohumblebrag
As for dessert, I went with the raw mango with vanilla, banana sorbet, pistachio cake and passion fruit cream. Pure magic. Who would think banana sorbet could taste so wonderful? Sébastian Gravé and his team did! Dayumnnnnnnn. I easily devoured everything on that plate ???????? My camera was missing in action but pictures of said dishes made it to the Pinchables instagram page!
Sébastian Gravé happens to be the genius behind La Table de Pottoka AND his first restaurant named Pottoka in Paris. Hailing from the Pays Basque, Sébastian Gravé celebrates his Basque roots through his culinary dishes by sourcing local Basque produce and choosing to work with suppliers that uphold the same passion for high quality food and preserving traditions.
Where does the word Pottoka come from? It is a Basque breed of ponies from a long line of ancient pony breed that wildly roamed the Pyrenees for centuries, dating back to 10,000 years ago. Pottoka also happens to be the mascot for the Aviron Bayonnais rugby club which Sébastian Gravé is a fan of. This explains the rugby jersey designs on the business cards of La Table de Pottoka and the colour scheme throughout both restos: blue, the official jersey colour of Aviron Bayonnais.
Alright, let’s get down to food business. Seeing as I had yet to photograph anything from La Table de Pottoka with my trusty Canon camera, it was time to pay another visit. This time with my best friend visiting from out of town.
I had raved and raved about La Table de Pottoka to her and was super eager for her tastebuds to swim in divinity. Yes, divinity in my books is synonymous with delicious food ????????✨✨✨
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize they were closed every Wednesdays so we made another trip into Bayonne on Friday. Once my best friend had a taste, she understood why I had to bring her there!
At La Table de Pottoka, you are always treated to a tasty amuse bouche and it never disappoints. A great amuse bouche is like a preview of what’s to come! We were served minuscule bowls of ‘mousse maïs avec semoule saumon mariné,’ corn mousse on a bed of couscous and marinated salmon. Fireworks of flavour in a eenie meenie bowl, I tell ya!
For starters, my friend ordered the ‘carpaccio tiède de tête de veau, oeuf mollet croustillant et mayo estragon, croustillant de poulpe de galice au basilic et vieux jambon, quinoa, crème d’ail,’ which was calf’s head carpaccio with a crispy soft boiled egg, tarragon mayonnaise, crispy octopus bits with basil and ham, quinoa and garlic cream. Look at that perfectly crispy egg! Somehow, it tasted as if there were capers in the quinoa/octopus mix too.
My starter was the ‘tartare de gambas, bar et pomelos, glaces piquillos et tuile croustillante’ which were prawns, sea bass and grapefruit tartar, piquillos ice cream and crispy biscuit. The tartare was ridiculously fresh, the accompanying sauce was flavourful, acidic and the piquillos ice cream was a lovely, surprising touch. So, so gooooood.
We both opted for the ‘plat du jour’ and noticed that most of the lunch goers at La Table de Pottoka did so too. Once our plates arrived, we knew that we had made the right choice ????
‘Filet de julienne en croûte de parmesan, risottos d’orecchiettes au brebis, duxelle de champignons au vieux jambon de Bayonne,’ which was a parmesan crust stuffed with a duxelles of mushrooms and Bayonne ham on a bed of orecchiette pasta in sheep cheese sauce (photo at the very top of this post). Creamy, cheesy goodness in a bowl! Our tastebuds were on a high. A divine high ????✨✨✨
For dessert, we went for the hazelnut praline ganache with chocolate and coffee shards, almond ice cream and expresso mousse. If you love chocolate, then this is for you! I couldn’t finish the hazelnut praline ganache as it was quite rich for me, but that was the only minor drawback from my otherwise foodtastic experience at La Table de Pottoka.
Bravo to Sébastian Gravé and his team for celebrating Basque ingredients so beautifully and creatively. It’s no wonder that La Table de Pottoka is in the Michelin Guide 2017 ????
And now, all I have left to taste is their 6 course meal, Menu Dégustation AND figure out where on earth they procure all of their gorgeous serving plates, seriously to die for!
Speaking of which, if you are looking for the perfect gift, La Table de Pottoka sells gift vouchers for your foodie friends and family! There are options to purchase them as a singular menu or for 2, whether it be a basic menu carte or menu dégustation. Bon appétit, mes amis! ????????
Till our next meal together,
Location: 21 Quai Dubourdieu, Bayonne, France 64100
Opening hours: 12pm – 2:30pm // 7:30pm – 10:30pm
***Closed on Wednesday & Sunday
Tips : Make reservations during summer months