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Best Eats in Bordeaux, From a Local

Bordeaux

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Bordeaux, Bénédicte recommends…

Benedicte Baggio-Catalan of my little spoonFor our first destination, I’m happy to introduce Bénédicte Baggio-Catalan, the author behind the French blog My little spoon. Bénédicte is originally from La Rochelle, but she fell in love with Bordeaux in 2002. She created her blog in 2008, in which she shares seasonal recipes for daily cooking and for entertaining. She is currently working for the Cité du Vin, a new venue devoted to wine that will open in Bordeaux very soon.

In addition to her blog, I recommend you follow Bénédicte on Facebook and Instagram. (The photos are hers unless otherwise noted.)

A market or food shop:La Recharge

La Recharge Bordeaux

Photo: Jules Rivet

A grocery store that sells products in bulk only: you bring your own jars, bottles, and bags — no pre-packaged goods at all! They have a lot of everyday products, but I also love to find new, unexpected products. It’s local, seasonal, smart, and economical. Too bad it’s a bit far from my house; we need more stores like this in Bordeaux!

Where to go for sweet treats: Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus

Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus Bordeaux

Hasnaâ Ferreira was a contestant on Masterchef here in France. She has been through a chocolatier training and has now opened her own chocolate shop, where she offers high-quality chocolates with interesting aromatic profiles. The latest, le Venezia, features Piemont hazelnuts paired with the fabulous “Marabout” Ethiopian coffee from my friend L’Alchimiste Torréfacteur (“the alchemist roaster”).

Where to get tea or coffee: Black List

A small coffee shop on Place Pey Berland. Yes, the coffee shop trend has caught on in Bordeaux! The wooden shop is decorated with Scandinavian accents and crates filled with fruits and vegetables, and it offers a daily selection of fresh dishes and American-style pastries. But, most of all, it has good coffee!

A fun restaurant for dinner with friends: Mampuku

Mampuku Bordeaux

Meaning “full belly” in Japanese, Mampuku is the latest restaurant from the Miles team. While they are not physically in the kitchen, their team delivers with the same spirit: creative, fresh, and convivial, with dishes that blend Asian, Mediterranean, and European inspirations. You don’t order your own dish here; rather, you order many small plates for the table to share. It’s the best place for relaxed yet refined finger foods in a lively setting.

Where to go for an intimate dinner with a date: Garopapilles

Garopapilles Bordeaux

Chef Tanguy Laviale had his heart set on opening a welcoming, home-style restaurant, in the most noble sense of the phrase, while still offering a cuisine that is refined and personal. Tanguy offers a single surprise menu with two appetizers, a main course, and a dessert that he creates and modifies frequently. I also love their wine selection. Truly one of the most inspiring restaurants in Bordeaux right now.

Wild Card Spot! Chez Boulan

Chez Boulan Bordeaux

Photo: Chez Boulan

Natives of the region know oyster producer Boulan for his unique oysters from Le Cap-Ferret, and now he has his own restaurant in Chartrons, a neighborhood in Bordeaux. There, chef Pierre Rousseau cooks a marine-inspired, fresh, innovative cuisine. I’m still dreaming about his raw sea bass with yuzu, ginger, cilantro and almonds, paired with mushrooms confit in sake and a runny egg yolk. It’s rare to get such good seafood in a city setting.

Thank you so much for sharing, Bénédicte!

You’ll find all these addresses mapped out below:

Do you have your own favorite spots in Bordeaux? We want to hear about them in the comments below! And is there a particular city or area you’d featured in this series in the future?

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Coconut Curry

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

This post is sponsored by Revol, a French manufacturer of top-quality ceramic cookware. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

It’s Confession Tuesday and I have one to make: I don’t really like spinach.

On my early twenties’ quest to rediscover and fall in love with the vegetables I’d grown up not liking (I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts!) spinach was a total fail.

I blame years and years of school cafeterias and well-meaning summer camp counselors. Unless the spinach is of pristine freshness and cooked with fairy dust in really inspired ways, the metallic aftertaste makes me shudder and push my plate away.

So I hardly ever buy spinach at all. But on a recent trip to the Perche, when we got to the organic produce stall where we buy a week’s worth of marvels (and then some) the minute we arrive at the greenmarket, we saw he had gorgeous spinach that was selling out fast. Maxence was tempted, I relented, and we snatched up an armful.

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Edible Paradise: A Food Lover’s Coloring Book (Giveaway)

Edible Paradise

Coloring books for adults are all the rage right now, and deservedly so: with an increasing portion of our lives happening on screens and clouds, what could be more grounding than to sit down at the end of a long day with an actual paper coloring book in your lap and favorite pencils scattered around you?

Indeed, it’s an ideal activity to unplug and unwind: low-pressure (I mean, we can all color, right?), high-satisfaction (in just a few minutes, voilà, your page is all pretty and complete), and wonderfully meditative, as your fingers busy themselves and your mind is free to wander.

I have seen quite a few such books for sale in bookshops here in Paris, and I was thrilled when a talented Paris-based illustrator I know, Jessie Kanelos Weiner, released one of her own, titled Edible Paradise: An Adult Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, celebrating the edible plant kingdom.

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Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker

Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker

This coconut spiced rice has been on heavy rotation in my kitchen lately, and it’s all thanks to Maxence.

A little while ago, he expressed the desire for us to acquire a rice cooker. I admit it: I scoffed. I argued that we could cook rice on the stovetop just fine, that we didn’t need a specialized appliance for that, and where in the world would we put it anyway?

But I could see he really wanted one, and considering that 90% of the stuff taking up room in our kitchen cabinets is, ahem, by all intents and purposes, well, my stuff, the least I could do was green-light the rice cooker. (And that’s the secret to relationship longevity right there. You’re welcome.)

So Maxence went off and researched the heck out of the rice cooker equation, because that’s what he does (I don’t have nearly as much patience for it) and he decided on this model from Cuisinart, which happens to be pretty good-lookin’, too.

Fast-forward a couple of years and I’m eating my words.

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Coconut Butter Bars with Sea Salt

Coconut Butter Bars

A little while ago, I told you how much I adore coconut butter. My passion has not abated in the slightest, and I continue to enjoy it as the divine treat that it is — here’s 20+ recipes to use coconut butter if you’re curious to know more.

But the tricky thing about coconut butter is how temperature-sensitive it is. Depending on the season, my jar of coconut butter can be super runny, which I don’t find the most pleasant consistency for eating with a spoon, or so solid you need a pickaxe to dig in.

So I’ve found a neat little way to make sure I have coconut butter available in a snack-friendly format at all times. You know, for emergencies.

I use my silicone chocolate bar molds — the very ones I bought to make these knock-your-socks-off caramelized sesame chocolate bars — to create these coconut butter bars, easily broken up into squares for popping into your mouth.

All it takes is to soften the coconut butter in a hot water bath (unless it’s summer and the coconut butter is creamy already), so you can pour it into the molds and put them into the fridge to set completely.

I sprinkle on a bit of sea salt, because it brings out the flavor of the coconut butter in the most flattering way. But I leave it at that in terms of flavorings, and pair my squares with banana slices, plump dates, or squares of dark chocolate.

You could, however, dream up all kinds of ways to guild the coconut butter bar lily by adding some delicious mix-ins:

  • Cacao nibs or chocolate chips,
  • Chopped nuts or seeds,
  • Freshly grated citrus zest,
  • Freeze-dried berries or banana chips,
  • Spices such as chili flakes, vanilla powder, or fresh cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill),
  • Bacon bits (I’m only half kidding).

How would you eat these coconut butter bars?

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