France - Pascal Nibaudeau
Officier Maître Rôtisseur
Chef of the Pinasse Café at Cap Ferret
" The Pinasse Café offers an à la carte and a 'market' menu both of which are dedicated to products from the sea "

A stunning sea-front location on Arcachon Bay, a talented Chef and a choice of four dining concepts is a recipe for success in Cap Ferret.

With its enviable location commanding a breathtaking view of the Dune du Pyla and the Bélisaire oyster beds, the Pinasse Café has long been one of Cap Ferret’s most renowned gastronomic destinations. In 2014, the arrival of Pascal Nibaudeau, Officier Maître Rôtisseur, and his Michelin star, propelled the Pinasse Café to a whole new level, including securing two toques in the Gault & Millau guide.

Located in a converted villa - the Beau Rivage – the Pinasse Café was originally a restaurant and tapas bar when it first opened in 1993. Over the years, it has been renovated and extended and now boasts a lovely new terrace on the beach.

It has nevertheless retained the villa’s original soul and charm and is in perfect harmony with the traditional materials and colours of Arcachon Bay.

The Pinasse Café offers an à la carte and a ‘market’ menu both of which are dedicated to products from the sea; and with its own fish tanks the produce is as fresh as can be. It showcases oysters, with other house specials including grilled sole, roast turbot, mussels ‘en papillote’ with pine needles or fried squid with tartare sauce.

Pascal Nibaudeau delights in putting an original and sophisticated twist on the finest of ingredients and some of his signature dishes include lobster and sweetbread with lobster béarnaise, sea bass tartare and curried oyster soup.

Since Pascal joined, the Pinasse Café has opened a new dining concept - La Villa du Pinasse Café, a project which is close to his heart. The Villa is housed in a small dining room inside the original Villa Beau Rivage. It is a cosy venue where ten guests dine at the same table attended on by three waiters and with three people in the kitchen.

For Pascal, it represents a return to the precise cuisine which earned him his Michelin star, with careful attention to technique and texture in each dish. The chef also builds a rapport with the guests as he finishes a sauce or flambés a dessert in front of their eyes, at the table.

More informal dining opportunities from the Pinasse Café are offered in the nearby Cabane, where the menu is more casual featuring street food and other national specialities such as chorizo, burgers, sandwiches, bruschettas and Pad Thai, all to eat in or take away with the additional option of ordering picnics to be delivered to the jetty. A short distance away in the pine woodlands, the Cabanon is a further venue for light and tasty lunches, dinners and late breakfasts.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne