EAT OUT IN ARRAS
Head to the north and sample the local specialities of Pas-de-calais .
The town of Arras is a carnivore’s paradise, with beef taking centre stage on many menus, and the surrounding countryside of Hauts-de-france being home to large herds of cattle, especially the famous Bleue du Nord breed.
Meat-lovers are certainly well catered for at Assiette au Boeuf, where – as the name suggests – all the main dishes consist of beef (with one exception for fish-eaters). The panoramic windows look out on to the rebuilt baroque buildings of Grand’place, while a terrace puts diners at the heart of this impressive open square.
The interior is light and spacious, with a contemporary, pared-back decor far removed from a traditional restaurant. A mirror fills the back wall, reminiscent of an American diner, but the sparkling cutlery and glassware add a more upmarket feel.
On my visit, a nicely seasoned walnut and parmesan salad, coated in a fragrant olive oil, acted as a curtain-raiser to the main event: a choice of beef – grilled, fried or tartare – served with a spicy-butsweet ‘sauce paradis’. My grilled and sliced sirloin steak was juicy and flavoursome, while the accompanying all-you-can-eat chips were just as they should be - crisp and salty.
For a refreshing finale, I chose ‘Caribbean caresses’, a lime and pineapple confection with coconut whipped cream, from a menu of playfully titled desserts. Open daily noon-2.30pm, 7-11pm. Set menus from €11.90. 56 Grand Place, 62000 Arras Tel: (Fr) 3 21 15 11 51 assietteauboeuf.fr/nos-restaurants/arras