Ahhhhh Le Pim’Pi! I can say without a doubt that this is my favourite go-to resto in Biarritz. Someone is visiting from out of town, let’s go to Le Pim’Pi. My birthday? Definitely, Le Pim’Pi. Just a nice, solo lunch — any guesses? ????
A few years back, Le Pim’Pi was owned and run by a sweet, older couple, whereby the wife, Nathalie, ran the restaurant floor and the husband, Bernard, was the chef. Good, simple meals that were affordably priced, this place was a sure winner in my books.
Fast forward to last summer, I had visited Le Pim’Pi in the hopes of seeing the warm Nathalie and Bernard but to my surprise, there were new bosses in town!
Fanny and Manu have taken over Le Pim’Pi Bistrot and boyyyy, have they upped the ante! Under this new dynamic ownership, the food here has been taken to dazzling new heights.
Every dish is picture perfect without ever compromising any flavours. As most French places do, their menu changes to reflect the current produce in season and boasts a daily ‘menu du jour’ of Manu’s newest delicious concoctions.
Since my best friend was in town for a few days, I made sure to march her straight to Le Pim’Pi promptly after her flight for her first meal in gastronomical heaven!
She started with the ‘ravioles de crevettes roses au citron vert, bouillon coco/curry’ which consisted of a beautiful bowl of shrimp ravioli on a bubbly bed of coconut, curry and lime broth. The shrimp ravioli were delicate and every mouthful was accompanied with the savoury goodness of the coconut curry broth. She was très impressed to say the least!
My starter was the ‘rillette de bonite à la ciboulette’ which was a spread of bonito fish paste topped with sweet cabbage, chives, cuttlefish ink in bite-sized abstract shapes and a refreshing sauce made from mango chutney and Xérès vinegar (sherry vinegar). Bonito fish is quite meaty like tuna and those dime-sized dots of sauce complemented the rillette ever so justly.
As for our mains, my friend ordered the ‘filet de canette à l’orange, poélèe d’asperges des Landes’ and I, the ‘poitrine de cochon Ibaiana, bouillon d’asperges blanches.’
My friend and I were literally b l o w n a w a y by the duck filet dish! The duck was cooked to pink perfection, you could see the pink juice oozing out from the filet and streaming into the orange duck sauce. Holy moly, that sauce doe. Just wow. No words. Dead. She savoured every bite of that duck and did not want it to ever end but alas, c’est comme ça! Let’s not forget the velvety purée of sweet potato! What a successful dish, bravo!
Alright, now let’s get to my Ibaiana pork beauty. When I had ordered the pork from the ‘menu du jour,’ the server gave me a friendly reminder that the pork comes with some layer of fat, noting that a lot of customers did not realize this. Bring ON the slab of fat!! Do you see how fatty that pork was? Pork slab heavennnnn. The accompanying sauce and white asparagus was sweet and reminiscent of subtle Asian flavours.
To offset the pork-fatty-goodness, I opted for the light and fruity ‘mousse de fromage blanc bio au citron vert, fruits éxotiques et éclats de meringue’ for dessert and my friend went with the ‘gros éclair au caramel 1/2 sel’.
Organic cottage cheese mousse topped with mango, kiwi, meringue shards and some dainty herb that tasted like licorice. I could have eaten those meringue shards for days! They were so good, I broke them up with my fingers and scattered them all over the medley of fruit to savour every little piece.
My friend’s caramel salted eclair was surprisingly not too sweet. Personally, I am not a big fan of caramel due to it’s cloyingly sweet nature, but this caramel eclair hit all the right spots. As always, Le Pim’Pi can do no wrong and this is a caramel eclair I can get down with!
By now, I had progressively asked the server what was in the sauces for each dish and she thus sent the chef, Emmanuel or as everyone called him, Manu, to answer my relentless questions. He had remembered me from my countless visits albeit mostly staying in the kitchen and was happy to answer each question in detail!
He kindly explained that the filet de canette à l’orange was cooked in a veal broth with vinegar, orange zest and reduced orange juice. Veal broth, aha!
As for my poitrine de cochon Ibaiana, it was cooked in a prawn broth with shallots, carrots, celery, tomates confit, potatoes and vinegar. We remarked how the sauce had subtle Asian notes and he humbly admitted that he had previously worked in a Japanese restaurant for a number of years. Mystery solved!
Pour conclure, Le Pim’Pi Bistrot carries an all around relaxed ambiance while serving dishes of delight to the gastronomical senses. It’s basically great food without any chichi-ness whatsoever. Le Pim’Pi Bistrot also happens to be in the Michelin Guide 2017 ????????
Go get ittttttt!! ????
Till our next meal together,
Location: 14 Avenue de Verdun, 64200 Biarritz
Opening hours: 12 – 2pm, 7:30pm – 10pm from Tuesdays to Saturday. Closed on public holidays.
Tips: Make reservations during summer evenings or risk being turned away