A hot night out

Mr French’s daughter was born in July, so we often celebrate her birthday here in Hossegor. The restaurants in town are fantastic, but a couple of years ago we were looking for something particularly special to celebrate her 30th birthday. Lucky for us, that very same year the Michelin starred chef, Coussu, from the Relais de la Poste in nearby Magesqc (that is not a typo, just a town with an oddly written name), was invited to open a restaurant in Hossegor.

It seemed like the perfect place to celebrate. The restaurant is in a beautiful, eco-friendly, contemporary building of raw wood and canvas on the dunes over looking the beach. The westerly walls are sliding glass and there is a large, protected terrasse bordered with wild grasses that add a sweet perfume to the typical restaurant aromas.

Coussu is famous for what he does with foie gras, but here it is all about seafood and vegetables. There were flowers in our food, with clovers decorating our plates. A crab entrée (“starter” for anglophones) was a play on sensations, with a bit of crab infused ice floating over the warm meat and a bit of room temperature crab coral cream. Other dishes played with textures; rough, crispy, crunchy falafel bits adding a delightful hit to a fish dish.

This is one of the few, perhaps the only, fine dining experience I’ve ever enjoyed with a show, because as we were served one stunning dish after another the sun began to set. The colors were stupendous and even blasé Parisiens were standing up with their cameras to take pictures of the sensation spectacle.

Then the desserts came out and at that very moment J’s friend, who had her back to the kitchen, started waving her hands wildly in excitement. Her arms flung back, hitting the waiter and his precious cargo. A few plates went flying, the flambéd desserts with them and in an instant our table was on fire. Everyone’s attention was on putting out the flames when I started to feel a bit warm derrière. My seat was on fire, and my skirt too…

Astonishingly, the waiter scampered off, never to been seen or heard from again. We were too drunk on the happiness of the moment to care, a flamboyant end to a truly brilliant evening.

What the chef has to say; “Born in the terroir of Les Landes, cradled between land and sea, I wanted this “place”, a unique setting to serve an incomparable cuisine to the perpetual chatter of the sea”
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