Les Arcandiers

Bistro, Gastronomy, Décor

Let’s start off with a definition: what is an “arcandier” in English? Going way back, the word was originally used to describe someone who would work away tirelessly to no avail. Gradually, the word took over a new meaning, expressing something at quite the opposite end of the scale. In the XXIst century, an “arcandier” is somebody who never goes home, who keeps the party going beyond reason. And Les Arcandiers? Well, it’s a little bit of the same. Whether it’s in the kitchen or in the dining room, the staff are always running around (the restaurant is usually fully booked, so do make sure to reserve in advance, otherwise your only other option is to smile nicely at the owner). Foodies in the know often eat here. The menu is brimming with gastronomical delights (the wine list is completely insane, so too is the tapas, and the homemade terrine, potato pâté and their cheese selection), and the décor is nothing less than surprising.

In fact, it feels like we’re having lunch inside a wonderful antiques store. A massive poster for a forgotten braces and belts brand masters the space in this huge restaurant. Afar, there’s a statue of a boxer who appears to challenge our appetite. A globe turned pendant light illuminates the space, while in another corner, you’ll find the restaurant’s mascot, an adorable dog sprawling across the sofa, drooling enviously at the dishes as they go by. And it appears we’re doing the same… This place was once an antiques shop for more than 30 years, but nowadays, it’s the favourite spot for local and international musicians alike. Take Granddaddy frontman Jason Lytle, who came in 2015 with his guitar in tow. After playing his show in these very four walls, he enjoyed a dish or two. Pretty cool, right? Just like this venue.

Nico Prat