A Couple of Steaks at Moelleuses et Persillées

For good beef in Bordeaux center there is a handful of restaurants I usually recommend – El National for the Argentine parilla vibe, Le Carreau for a more Bordelais touch, Ô QG for prime cuts cooked in a fireplace and L’Entrecôte… just kidding, L’Entrecôte sucks.

But the most respected, most loudly lauded temple of beef is no doubt Moelleuses & Persillés, an elegant little chop shop with a deep-red awning on the Quai des Chartrons. The owners were inspired by their culinary experiences in London’s top steak houses and decided to bring all that British beef know-how home with them. Today they source the best cuts from renowned breeds from around the world, aged in house and prepared by Italian chefs specialized in meat. So, the owners are French, the inspiration British, the team Italian and the steaks truly international.

Their menu brings together Galloway beef from the UK, Black Angus from Nebraska, Frisona from Spain, Wagyu from Australia and Ayrshire from Finland, to name just a few (but these change every few weeks).There are also a few non-steak dishes, like a tagliatelle al ragù and a roasted lobster risotto. There are noticeably 0 meat-free dishes, so vegetarians/vegans best stay away.

Ben and I were both craving a proper piece of beef one evening this summer and decided to finally try out Moelleuses et Persillées. We ordered a beer, a Lillet spritz and a few amuse-bouches as we waited for the steak-man to bring out the cuts of the day. The crevette à la tempura was delicious with a crunchy golden brown coat to drip into a piquant gochujang mayonnaise. We also ordered a sweet little white fish ceviche, which was just spicy enough to wake up our palates.

Finally, the Italian-accented meat man brought out his chopping block of steaks and described each one in detail – the body part, the diet, the terroir of origin, the breed, the marbling, etc. We chose two different beef styles and two different sides – fries and comté & gorgonzola mac & cheese – from a rather lengthy list, which also included truffled potatoes, duck fat potatoes and roasted eggplant. Both sides were fine, even if largely unnecessary.

The steaks were served rare with a seared, salty, crackly crust coating the juicy, cool, magenta meat inside. The grass-fed, beautifully marbled Devon beef was fabulously tender and full of flavor with a delicate earthiness brought to the forefront by the coarse salt with which the meat was sprinkled. The grass-fed-grain-finished Black Angus was more intense in flavor, with a delicious caramelized touch and silky-smooth texture. My knife glided through the meat like butter. Two glasses each of a Rosso di Montepulciano and a Chilean Cabernet went perfectly with the steaks. No space for dessert. Meat craving satisfied. ✅

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