Bordeaux: Dinner At La Tupina.

When it comes to "dining style", I am a believer in "the less formal, the better."

Don't get me wrong... You can take me to a very fine restaurant and see me "mannering it properly" with the best of the people at the table. I am culturally aware of formal dining protocol... And am quite good at table conversation in fancy places.

(Code: I can in fact dial back the sarcasm and punchy jokes to be "elegant" and "charming" for a few hours. Despite how difficult that may be to believe...)

But if you asking me about where I prefer to dine and how I prefer to dine out side of the home... It's at places like this...

La Tupina in Bordeaux's city center. This was the destination of our first dinner after our first full day. It is a bistro style restaurant that lacks the airs of the fancy places.

I mean... You walk in and the first thing you encounter is this...

A huge fireplace where chicken is being roasted on a spit!

And a wooden counter with all kinds of amazing edibles...

I had my eye hard on that basket of radishes. I love radishes. And when we sat down a few minutes later, at a large wooden table for the 12 of us, they gave us bread, butter and radishes.

And wine.

The meal was exactly how I would have wanted it to be... Cozy and filling.

I started with some mushrooms...

Which tasted very meaty and were excellent.

And after seeing the chicken roasting on the spit, I had to order some of that...

Our host - who admitted this was one of his favorite restaurants in Bordeaux - started pouring the wine selection early in the dinner and didn't let it stop flowing. (This proved to be the trend the whole time we were in Bordeaux...)

Look at the cork on this vintage that we drank!

Such a beautiful garnet color!

I didn't want to eat dessert, but couldn't refuse a few bites that they put in front of me...

Tarte aux saison. Apple, in this case.

A brilliant dinner at the end of a long day of wine and culinary education.

I can't recommend La Tupina for dinner enough.