This is the fifteenth post in the Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Series. Please scroll to the bottom to see all the other posts in this series.
Located on one of the oldest streets in Bordeaux, La Tupina is a rustic, traditional, cozy French restaurant that has cemented its reputation as being one of the "must-visits" in Bordeaux. It's been here since 1968, founded by Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, who also owns several other businesses along the same street (a more casual restaurant, a market, among other things).
The environment at La Tupina is most certainly inviting - there are multiple rooms decorated with antique furniture, wine bottles, and kitchen themed articles.
Most memorable is the huge roaring fire right at the entrance, cooking all sorts of delectable items, such as a whole roasted chicken on a spit, lamb, and local vegetables.
The display of ingredients in front further emphasizes the restaurant's focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
We came here after a long day of touring vineyards in the Bordeaux area. We were definitely ready to eat. After a harrowing drive to the restaurant (the streets are crazy narrow and sometimes cars are parked in very inconvenient locations that make maneuvering around a true challenge), we sat down in one of the rooms and were quickly greeted with a small plate of complimentary bites, including fresh radish, cauliflower, ham cubes, and butter.
Everyone spoke very good English at the restaurant, so it was very easy to communicate.
The restaurant focuses on regional cuisine from southwestern France. The food is hearty, authentic, and very traditional.
"Today, we have a special - this bone-in steak."
It looked so good, we couldn't help but order one, to be shared by a couple of the people at our table.
Roasted bone marrow was decadent, and came with pieces of toast. French onion soup was classic, and quite good.
Pan-seared foie gras, another special that day, was hearty and flavorful.
Class duck confit salad.
I loved what I ordered, a deeply, rich "vegetable soup". Not only was it filled with vegetables (carrots, onions, escarole, and the like), it also had an entire duck leg, which added a TON of rich flavors to the broth. It was really big, and I enjoyed having several helpings of it from the large bowl.
We had a 3-year old child in our party, who enjoyed an al dente pasta with mushrooms, bacon, and a rich cream sauce. Note, this was not a special kid's menu item, but it worked out well for the child.
A classic roasted chicken leg, done right.
Bryan and his friend shared the huge bone-in steak, which was cooked beautifully rare.
The "frites" were solid, but could have been warmer.
In France there is not really a culture of taking home leftovers, but the staff at La Tupina were happy to accommodate our request, and vacuum sealed our leftovers for us.
Canelés, the small pastry with a rum-flavored custard center and chewy caramelized crust, is a specialty of Bordeaux, and therefore most restaurants serve it. We got some as a post-dinner sweet along with our check.
We enjoyed our taste of the rustic, traditional food from the southwestern region in France. They do a great job on meat, and flavors are rich, hearty, and satisfying. They source excellent ingredients, and overall the food is very good.
Expect to feel very full when you leave. A lot of the dishes are quite heavy.
All in all, the service was pleasant, the food was very good, and we really enjoyed the rustic ambiance of the whole place. If you want to experience good, authentic, regional French cooking at a well-established restaurant in Bordeaux, this is a solid choice.
All Posts In This Series
Around the World Birthday Extravaganza
Alba White Truffle Fair
Osteria Dei Sognatori - A Traditional Piedmontese Dinner
Italy Wine Tour - Barbaresco
Lunch at Donna Selvatica in Neive, Italy
Dinner at a Truffle Hunter's Inn - Tra Art e Querce
Trattoria Della Posta in Montfort D'Alba
Nighttime Truffle Hunting with a Dog in Alba
Osteria della Arco - last dinner in Alba
Stunning Images of La Morra and Barolo, Italy
First Day In Bordeaux, France - Une Cuisine en Ville
Chateau Haut-Brion Tour in Bordeaux France
Restaurant Le St. James
Touring Bordeaux Wineries - Day 1