Le Bis is forever etched in my culinary memory banks.

Finding the right words to do justice to this recent dining experience (this past Saturday), is daunting. Yes, Le Bis is THAT good! Writing about it and looking at my food photos already are making my mouth water anew.

But first…

Scooting over to France is easy-peasy from our
spot in Liguria.

Life in Italy isn’t only about Italy. It’s also about the not-so-insignificant benefit of being able to take short trips throughout Europe. We’d planned a trip to Bordeaux in 2020, and the pandemic snuffed that out. Finally, we made good on our plans. From Imperia, the Nice airport is just over an hour. The flight to Bordeaux (easyJet has daily flights), also just over an hour.

Saint Emilion, Le Bis
Saint Emilion, Le Bis
Saint Emilion, Le Bis
Cité du vin, Bordeaux

A day in Saint Émilion—a top priority.

We had no shortage of other incredible experiences in Bordeaux. The Cité du Vin, for example, is a museum devoted to telling the history and story of winemaking around the world. The building itself is an architectural marvel. A visit here, just hours after landing, was our warm-up act to Saint Émilion. I learned just how much I don’t know about wine. Talk about a humbling experience!

Saint Émilion is just thirty minutes by train from Bordeaux

We arrived just after ten in the morning. We’d been gifted a beautiful, brisk day. From the Saint Émilion train station, it’s a twenty minute gradual uphill hike to the village. Being late November, the tourist action was much tamer than I had expected. Good for us!

Le Bis, Saint Emilion

I found Le Bis after careful research.

Dining options are bountiful in Saint Émilion, many with top ratings. What snagged my attention about Le Bis was the dining atmosphere and experience itself. This intimate restaurant is really one large room with perhaps ten tables, tops. Food is also being being prepared in the open and cooked over glowing embers in a large fireplace.
I secured lunch reservations over a week in advance.

A story of quality.

Le Bis has a short menu as you can see from the attached photo. I’m not a fan of eating establishments with pages and pages of choices. You know, jack of all trades, master of none? But the chef at Le Bis is a master of his menu. And we were happy recipients of his food artistry.

After consulting with our server (a delightful woman who is also married to the chef), we made two choices.

Menu Le Bis, Saint Emilion
Mont d'Or, Le Bis, Saint Emilion

A fondue of Mont d’ Or

This is the star of this post’s featured photo. At first glance, it may seem like well-rendered meringue. But, no, this is a sinfully delicious raw cheese “wheel” served melted in its own container. New potatoes and a plate of charcuterie and pickles round out this meal. Spoons are used to dip and scrape. We scraped a lot!

Entrecôte, Le Bis, Saint Emilion

A generous entrecôte.

The menu advertises a steak (sirloin cut) of at least 400 grams. That’s almost a pound. Mine had to have been well north of that size. I saw it being grilled in the large fireplace. I chose to have mine rare. The entrecôte was beautifully seasoned and topped with local mushrooms and served with new potatoes and a green salad (with a perfect vinaigrette).

Happy to share.

As you can see, the portions are more than generous. We ordered one of each of the above and partook of the dishes equally. We ate so well that we skipped dinner later.

The wine “menu”

The wines of Le Bis don’t come listed on paper. We were invited to browse their wine selection (all reds) displayed in cases along a wall next to the entrance. Prices are scribbled on the bottle. We opted for a wine that came for a small chateau adjacent to the owners’ home. For 28€ we enjoyed an elegant wine (and highly rated on the Vivino app).

Le Bis, Saint Emilion

No room for dessert (sadly).

But we were tempted, especially after seeing a fresh batch of panna cotta cooling in front of the window. Instead, we had coffees, while congratulating ourselves for finding and partaking of the culinary excellence of Le Bis in Saint Émilion.

Le Bis • 49 rue Guadet, 33330 Saint-Emilion, Francia +33 5 57 25 80 80

Le Bis panna cotta, Saint Emilion