There’s a delightful little neighborhood called Saint Seurin Croix Blanche located beyond Rue Abbe de l’Epee, around the Place des Martyrs de la Résistance, behind our street. This neighborhood rocks. Gorgeous, super-traditional, Bordeaux-style limestone houses all in a row, the perfect park surrounding a beautiful church, a little wine bar called La CUV Saint-Seurin with an adorable red facade, and Le Poulailler d’Augustin, home to what is undoubtedly THE best rotisserie chicken in Bordeaux. It’s a very familial place, the perfect residential neighborhood still well within the boundaries of the city. I hung out around here a few times these past two summers. In that park I played badminton with Ben, and drunkenly tore apart a whole chicken, sitting on a bench, on the way home at 6:30 a.m. with friends. Some of my favorite memories are the few times we went to a little place on the corner called Le P’tit Bar. It’s not easy to describe what about this place I love so much. It kind of just has a vibe. During the warmer months, the sunny terrace buzzes with locals, neighborhood regulars and trendy, artsy Chartrons types, often with some kind of small dog of some peculiar breed running around. The service is relatively fast and super friendly. It’s generally just the perfect spot for a pint of blonde or blanche on a nice day.
I heard that in the morning they have viennoiseries (little pastries) with coffee and that they offer a great menu at lunch. They do oysters for Sunday lunch and have a more serious a la carte menu for dinner. They’re versatile like that. During “apero” hour, which is kind of like French happy hour and, needless to say, my favorite hour of the day, they offer a selection of tapas that go perfectly with your beer, wine or Ricard. They keep things pretty Spanish with this menu. The tortilla is divine. Thick, substantial, 2-bite chunks of potato tortilla, cooked to a perfectly tender texture and lit up by colorful veggies included in the mix. They also have these little spicy chorizo sausages, wrapped in a tight, perfectly blistered casing that snaps when bitten into. Not too greasy either. Sometimes they have padron peppers and white anchovies in vinegar. And sometimes they have this plate of montaditos, perfect to share. Little slices of baguette come with an array of colorful toppings: smoky roasted red pepper spread with cheese, mussels in vinegar, some Spanish ham, guacamole with baby shrimp, white anchovies sprinkled with piment d’Espelette.
Le P’tit Bar is a place to linger, enjoy the sunshine, pick at beer-side snacks, and take in the rhythm of life in this gorgeous little neighborhood. It’s November now, and I’m already counting down the days until spring so that I can experience that feeling of peace there again.