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Where To Go In Bordeaux

Restaurants, Hotels and Lodging

William Echikson
Posted: August 3, 2000

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Where To Go In Bordeaux

Restaurants, Hotels and Lodging

By William Echikson


Restaurants

Château Cordeillan-Bages
33250 Pauillac 
Telephone (011) 33-5-56-59-24-24 
Fax (011) 33-5-56-59-01-89 
Open Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday; Saturday dinner 
Cost Entrées $30-$65 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club

This restaurant is the best in the region. Chef Thierry Marx has recruited a team of local suppliers who provide him with everything from tender Pauillac lamb to fresh fish from the Gironde. And the creative chef has developed new techniques for matching these goodies with the best bottles of Bordeaux. The wine list is encyclopedic on Médoc wines but weaker elsewhere. Rooms at the hotel are of comfortable Relais & Château quality.

St. James
Place C. Hostein, 33270 Bouliac 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-97-06-00 
Fax (011) 33-5-56-20-92-58 
Open Daily, lunch and dinner, February to December 
Cost Entrées $40-$60 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club

Although his main restaurant remains a hit-or-miss affair, one taste of Jean-Marie Amat's trademark tuna moussaka—raw fish marinated in eggplant and ginger and mixed with sautéed shallots and bacon bits—is enough to warrant a return visit. On a warm day, eat outside overlooking the pool—and all of Bordeaux. Both of Amat's bistros offer creative cooking and funky atmosphere at moderate prices (Le Bistroy, entrées $25-$35; Le Café de l'Esperance, entrées $20-$35).

L'Iguane
127 avenue Magudas, 33700 Mérignac 
Telephone (011) 33-5-56-34-07-39 
Fax (011) 33-5-56-34-41-37 
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday; Saturday, dinner; Sunday, lunch 
Cost Entrées $20-$35  Credit cards Visa, MasterCard

Despite the dreary decor, the kitchen turns out spectacular fresh fish. The wine list is extensive—not just famous Bordeaux. Owner Pierre Michel offers intriguing choices such as a Clos des Truffiers from Château de la Negly and a Côtes de Castillon Cap de Faugères.

La Tupina
6 rue Porte-de-la-Monnaie, 33800 Bordeaux 
Telephone (011) 33-5-56-91-56-37 
Fax (011) 33-5-56-31-92-11 Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Cost Entrées: lunch $15, dinner $50 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club

Not much has changed since this local institution opened in 1967—and not much should. La Tupina is a country farm set in the center of the city and serving specialties of southwestern France, foie gras, confit de canard, innards of all sorts and grilled meats cooked over an open fireplace located in the entryway.

L'Estaquade
Quai des Queyries, 33000 Bordeaux 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-54-02-50 
Fax (011) 33-2-48-54-19-22 
Open Lunch and dinner, daily Cost Entrées $20-$30 
Credit Cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express

This attractive restaurant offers spectacular views of the 18th century city center across the river. The cooking is fresh and eclectic, though uneven, and the wine list could be much better; the choices are only from Bordeaux and almost all from vintages after 1996. But the setting makes up for it.

L'Envers du Décor
11 rue du Clocher, 33000 St.-Emilion 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-74-48-31 
Fax (011) 33-5-57-24-68-90 
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday; lunch, Saturday and Sunday 
Cost Entrées $10-$15 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express

This is St.-Emilion's only true wine bar—and a hangout for local winegrowers. The food is rough and ready, but tasty: omelettes, sausages, steaks and salads. An interesting wine list offers many choices served by the glass.

Chez Patou
Castillon La Bataille 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-40-15-58 Open Daily, June 15 to September 15 
Cost Entrées $5-$10 
Credit cards None accepted
This grill located on the banks of the Dordogne River is a perfect place to enjoy a sunny summer day and soak up real French atmosphere. Don't expect fancy cooking or exceptional wine. But you can get fresh salads as well as sausages, steak or even duck breast grilled over an open fire.

Lion d'Or
Route D2, Arcins 
Telephone (011) 33-5-56-58-96-79 
Open Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 
Cost Lunch and dinner, Entrées $10-$30 
Credit cards Visa, American Express

A Médoc favorite, Lion d'Or serves authentic dishes in a dressed-up rustic setting. The wine list is short and sensible; if you call ahead, chef-owner Jean-Paul Barbier will let you bring your own bottle.

HOTELS
Hôtel Burdigala
115 rue Georges-Bonnac, 33000 Bordeaux 
Telephone (011) 33-5-56-90-16-16 
Fax (011) 33-5-56-93-15-06 
E-mail burdigala@burdigala.com 
Rooms 68 Rates $140-$230 
Credit Cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club
This is the only four-star hotel in Bordeaux. It's somewhat antiseptic, more for business travelers than tourists, but although it's located in a modern neighborhood, it's only a short walk from the elegant 18th century downtown area.

Relais de Margaux
Chemin de l'Ile Vincent, 33460 Margaux 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-88-38-30 
Fax (011) 33-5-57-88-31-73 
Web site www.relais-margaux.fr Rooms 58 
Rates $140-$240 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club The new Belgian owners of the four-star Relais de Margaux are upgrading this large, luxurious establishment. In the past three years, they have added 42 modern bedrooms, a glass-enclosed breakfast room and a golf practice range to a complex that already included a tennis court and swimming pool.

WINE LODGING
Château Faugères
St.-Etienne-de-Lisse, 33330 St.-Emilion 
Telephone (011) 33-5-57-40-34-99 
Fax (011) 33-5-57-40-36-14 
Open Variable; contact château for dates 
Rates $100-$150 
Credit cards Visa, MasterCard

Château Faugères is the type of residence everyone dreams of owning, the sort featured in decorating magazines. Corinne Guisez is a warm host and her cook Nicole is a maestro on the grill. Château Faugères does not advertise itself as a hotel, and reservations are only accepted if Guisez deems the visitor truly interested in wine. Contact the St.-Emilion Tourist Office: telephone (011) 33-5-57-55-28-28; fax (011) 33-5-57-55-28-29; e-mail st-emilion.tourisme@wanadoo.fr. William Echikson has lived in Europe and written about food, wine and travel for the past two decades.

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