Mussels at the seaside - a restaurant review

I haven’t as yet done a restaurant review, so today is a first. A couple of weeks ago, Joerg and I took a drive to Hossegor, a town on the Atlantic coast. I really miss the ocean, so my darling husband drove the 3 hours (one way!) just to make me happy. He’s a keeper! They have international surfing events in Hossegor, so there are lots of nice looking chaps about – a definite plus in my book. We have a VW kombi/van and sometimes we sleep in the car right on the beachfront. On one such occasion, I opened my eyes and 4 of these lovely young men were standing near by. I smiled and one came over and placed a kiss on the window. Be still my beating heart!! Then Joerg lifted his head and said kisser was Gone with the Wind….

On one of our trips to Hossegor, we found a restaurant called “AMIGO” which serves the best Moules et Frite (mussels and chips) in the WORLD.

Moules et Frite

We went there the first time as it was the only restaurant we could find open in the off season. I hadn’t wanted to go to a Spanish restaurant in France, but I am glad we did as the food is great. Well, the mussels are and I refuse to try anything else ‘cos I love them sooo much.

What makes these mussels so special is the mild spicy flavouring they are cooked in. I asked the chef what it is and he said tumeric, curry and a few other spices, but would give me no other details. Don’t be put off by adding curry to mussels - as long as you don’t add too much that it is overpowering, it really adds to the dish. As yet I don’t have a recipe, but I will persevere and update this story when I have one. They are so good, I lick each mussel individually inside and out.

The mussels are cooked on a flat sheet on a gas grill, something I have never seen elsewhere. I asked to take a picture (and after promising that I wasn’t from some strange organization to Save the Mussels) I got a very skeptical “oui…”. Seems even tourists don’t take photos of people cooking. The whole food blog thing has not yet reached rural France and whenever I take pictures of my food, the waiters ask if there is something wrong. “No, no,” I assure them, “I am just a crazy person who likes to photograph their food.” Saying I have a blog gets one even more crazy looks, but some day they will beg me to take photos and write reviews!

Chef preparing mussels

The service is generally very good – a little slow if they are busy, but not slow enough to warrant leaving after driving 3 hours to get there! They have a house wine which is reasonably priced and very drinkable, as well as a full bar and a good vibe. It’s 1 minute from the beach so we always go for a long walk after lunch (and a rinse in the ocean as I’m generally covered in mussel juice!).

Cap Breton is on the other side of the inlet and has a huge selection of restaurants. We had a Fisherman’s Platter at one of them last year, and although it was very good, it was a cold platter which we hadn’t realized when we ordered it. It was very good and plentiful, but I am used to a hot platter and was a little disappointed. Amongst other things, there were several varieties of sea snails (and hundreds of them!) which take a long time to eat as you have to fiddle them out of their houses. Next time I’ll ask if the platter is going to be hot or cold.

The quality of the food in Hossegor and Cap Breton is superb so it’s well worth a visit to the area. Next time we’ll try a different restaurant and I’ll let you know how it was.

Hotel-Restaurant AMIGO
40150 Hossegor-Plage
Tel: 0558.43.54.38

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