This otherwise unexciting arrondissement has become home to yet another promising young chef: Ludivine Merlin. Basque cooking is known for its bold flavors and generosity, and the choices at Afaria are no exception: crisp-skinned duck breast with balsamic-fig vinegar (for two) is served dramatically, inside a ceramic roof tile, with the accompanying potato gratin perched on a bed of twigs; and big chunks of spoon-tender slow-cooked pork from Gascony come in an earthenware
dish with cubes of roasted celery root. Another signature dish consists of slices of blood sausage layered with apple and topped with grainy mustard. Tapas are served at a high table near the entrance, and there's a large-screen TV for rugby matches.