Today will bring a close to the “long weekend around Biarritz” series so I thought what better for a parting thought than a post on our last supper on the beach. Since we’d taken advantage of the market and our hosts’ cooking skills on previous evenings, we wanted to thank them appropriately with a meal out. And while nothing beats Caro’s seafood feasts on the terrace, this restaurant came a close second.
La Plancha d’Ibarritz is right on the beach outside of Biarritz, with both a bar and terraced restaurant that have a drop-dead gorgeous view of the sun setting into the water, cool ocean breezes and seafood that melts in freshness. A word to the wise, this restaurant won’t be for everyone. They don’t take reservations, they’re not speedy, and service is not what I would call attentive. That being said, this isn’t a pretentious place – it’s just a beachside joint that happened to become really popular, and they’re trying to make the most of it. Come early, don’t be in a hurry, and if you’re caught waiting longer than you’d hoped, just admire the view. And try to get another drink.
The bar serves all sorts of cocktails and a house sangria, as well as a tapas platter to hold you over until you’re seated. On the menu is lots of fresh seafood, all done, as the name indicates “a la plancha”, many of them “a la espanola”. Had I been able to track down a waiter for longer than 10 seconds, I would have asked what exactly goes into that, as it was excellent, along with the “scallops in caramel and spices”, but as far as I could guess, it seemed to be olive oil, lemon juice, a whole lot of garlic and maybe some tomatoes…Local brebis with dark cherry preserves, as well as a selection of baked goods, round out the dessert menu.
Farewell, St. Jean de Luz – see you again next year (I hope)!
La Plancha d’Ilbarritz
Avenue d’Ilbarritz, 64210 Bidart
Tel.: +(33) 5 59 23 44 95