If you are feeling the draw of fall food, Chef de Cuisine Vince Hall has just added a trio of dishes to the menu at Le Pichet that will fit the bill perfectly. Enjoy!
In the Pays Basque, adding Borda to the name of an eating establishment signifies a rustic country inn. In Euskera, borda means barn and the original Bordas were kitchens set up in underused barns, often with the cooking done over wood-fired braziers and guests served at long rows of tables, outdoors when weather permitted. Although no one is likely to confuse the the bright, modern dining room at Haraneko Borda with a barn, its kitchen does feature a wood fired grill and oven, the room is framed by ancient wood beams and on sunny days, tables are set up on the expansive deck looking over the green, rural valley of Itxassou.
The restaurant at Haraneko is actually part of an expansive organic farm called Ferme Heranea where owner Christian Aguerre raises the ancient race of Basque black hogs known as “cochon noir de kintoa”, rumored to produce the best pork in France, was well as fruits and vegetables including the sour cherries for which the valley of Itxassou has become known. Starting a restaurant on the property was a logical next step in the farm’s evolution, creating a a dining experience that the chef calls “zero kilometer local”, meaning that the majority of the ingredients come directly from the restaurants own farm. Ham and pork from kintoa hogs, corn for taloa (Basque corn pancakes), chickens, eggs, piment d’Espelette, fruits and vegetables all from the farm. Even the wine served, although not all produced within 1 kilometer, all comes from the Pays Basque.
The cooking at Haraneko matches the setting, being both rustic and accomplished, sophisticated but simple, the kind of food I love to discover and to eat.
When we visited for lunch during the week in early May 2019, reservations were easy to get and the menu prices very fair. However, that could change, as Borda Haraneko has been discovered, recently being named Best Farm-Auberge in France by Le Fooding.
Address: 3 Gerastoko Bidea, 64250 Itxassou, France
Tel: 05 59 15 09 68
Reservations: Recommended. Not busy outside the season but hours can be irregular
Thursday September 12th
Viewing starts at 5:00 pm
No reservations, no cover, everyone is welcome!
Checkout out our on-line event calendar for up to date event information
At the Broadway Farmer’s Market today we, found some really beautiful organic Charentais-style melons, so fragrant that, even uncut, their aroma fills the kitchen. The Charentais is the famous melon of Provence in SE France, know for its wonderful, sun drenched flavor and firm texture. The good people at Tonnemaker Farms specified that these can’t actually be called Charentais, as they are not the exact same species but a hybrid that stands up better to the cool PNW nights.
The melons I purchased for Café Presse are currently ripening in a warm corner of the kitchen but should be ready to serve Tuesday or Wednesday, watch our facebook page for a heads up when we are offering it as a daily special. I am planning something simple to feature the pure summer flavor of the melon:
Sliced Charentais melon sprinkled with lime juice and piment d’Espelette, served with sliced jambon de Bayonne
Le Pichet and Cafe Presse will both be open regular hours on Labor Day Monday September 2, 2019.
Le Pichet open everyday from 8am to midnight
Café Presse open everyday from 8am to 1am
Café Presse chef de cuisine James O’Hern will be the featured Guest Chef at Farestart on Thursday September 12th. Make your plans (and reservations!) now to attend! It’s a great bargain, it’s fun and all proceeds support Farestart in the great work they do helping people with barriers to entry into the job market acquire the skills to succeed!
Contact Farestart to purchase tickets or purchase on-line.