A boutique restaurant and wine bar with an exquisite fresh tapas menu.
Don’t be put off by the shabby exterior, as just beyond the rusty vents and paint-slapped windows at 146 Rue du Château is the marvellous boutique restaurant and wine bar Les Rouquins. Beziers wine merchant Serge Lacombe opened the tiny bistro on the basement premises of his own cave, Les Crus du Soleil, in January 2015. Lacombe specialises in southern and primarily Languedoc-Roussillon regional wines, which he serves fresh from the cellar with a succinct tapas menu (€13-€23) that changes daily.
The décor is simple, elegant and a touch sober (industrial lighting, brick buttressing and weathered wood banquettes), while the staff provide a warm reception and are ready with plenty of suggestions. We were talked into trying a mineral white wine, Mon P’tit Pithon: a 2014 Rousillon-region Millesime, which proved exquisite. Fresh and aromatic, it paired perfectly with the delicate sea bream ceviche, sprinkled with radish and arugula (€15) as well as the creamy burrata, peppered just right and flanked by fresh greens. Lovers of charcuterie won’t want to miss the air-cured, sliced cecina, which is expensive at €17 per plate but diabolically good.
This pricey cave à manger inevitably draws a rather limited crowd of connoisseurs and fortysomething professionals; still it’s a cool, clandestine address that won’t stay secret for long.
|Venue name:||Les Rouquins|
146 rue du Château
|Opening hours:||Tues-Sat 5pm-1am|