Pau, France

About l’Interprète

Tucked away in a rather obscure street, just a stone's throw away from Pau’s central Place Clemenceau, you’ll find a warm and welcoming 30-seat restaurant. This is the culinary home of Quentin Maysou, a young chef who has worked in this region of France for most of his life. Described by French food blogger Gilles Pudlowski as the ‘wonder boy of Pau’, Maysou’s restaurant is recommended by most culinary media, from bloggers to Michelin, Le Fooding and GaultMillau.

However, being wine-focused, it was the local maison de vignerons who showed us the way to Maysou’s establishment, and we're lucky they did. The style of cooking is honest, flavourful and playful, with many local and seasonal ingredients. Direct, yet refined. Make sure you don’t over-order in this copious south-westerly part of the country.

No matter how nice the food, it’s the wine that brought us here and for all the right reasons. Though the wine list is not super extensive, it is solid with nice pics from artisanal producers. Funnily enough, being on the border of the Jurançon region, you will only find one dry Jurançon on the list. Nevertheless, there are some wonderful pics from other French regions as well, and at a great price point. Champagne from Selosse, Châteauneuf from Rayas, Burgundy from Prieure Roch or Cecile Tremblay, you name it. The list also holds lesser-known producers from the Rhône and even the tiny Irouleguy.

Wine service is friendly with good stemware, coolers at the table, and decanters upon request. And don’t forget about the nice selection of Darroze Bas-Armagnac or a few aged bottles of Chartreuse. No pretensions here, just lovely people serving nice food and lovely wines. Culinary honesty in its best form.

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