Tucked away on the picturesque Place du Palais in central Bordeaux Chiocchio had my heart at ‘fried artichoke’. The small restaurant specialises in creative Italian cuisine and natural wines – a killer combination for foodies.
We landed on Chiocchio but chance, looking for a terrace to have lunch on a boiling summer day. The menu is short but flavours are big and bold. The owners focus on fresh produce and make sure that options change regularly, based on what is on offer from their suppliers.
Famished, we rushed to ask for recommendation from the very friendly manager. He recommended the fried artichokes, served on a mint/anchovy/walnut pesto. The artichokes were crispy with a soft heart and the pesto added a fresh kick to every bite. We also split the beef cheek pappardelle al ragu cooked at low temperature over 8 hours and sprinkled with a generous amount of pecorino, and the ‘dish of the day’, casarecci with an Italian sausage white wine ragu. Portions were generous and the flavour complexity made our tastebuds explode.
As it was very warm outside we paired our meal with an natural Italian rose with a strawberry aftertaste – a true delight.
We finished our dinner with a cup of strong espresso and tiramisu. The portion was generous but the tiramisu was so elegant and rich that I was wishing there was more.
If you’re in Bordeaux and looking for a break from French food, Chiocchio’s chill atmosphere and hearty cuisine make for a perfect choice.