Gastronomy: Best of the Bistros

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Marseille is in the midst of a restaurant boom. Formerly, the city had a reputation for good pizza (go to Chez Vincent) and bouillabaisse (the best is at Restaurant Chez Michel), but there is now an excellent selection of small bistros.

La Boîte à Sardine

For a terrific catch-of-the-day menu in this seafood-loving city, try this casual and authentic place. Aside from superb fish from boats operating out of the port, it offers a spectacular setting overlooking the Mediterranean from a craggy promontory.

La Boîte à Sardine 7 boulevard de la Liberation. Tel. (33) 4-91-50-95-95.

L’Epuisette

For excellent southern French cooking, don’t miss this Marseille institution, perched on rock at the entrance to the old port of Vallon des Auffes. Chef Guillaume Sourrieu makes a superb fish soup, along with more elaborate dishes such as sea bass in caviar butter, John Dory with Swiss chard, gnocchi and black olive sauce, and chocolate soufflé with black-pepper ice cream.

L’Epuisette Vallon des Auffes Tel. (33) 4-91-52-17-82.

Le Grain de Sel

Many of the best new tables are simple little places, a reflection of the Marseillais dislike of formality and pretension, and one of my favorites is Le Grain de Sel, located on a side street near the Vieux-Port and perfect for lunch. The chalkboard menu changes regularly, but runs to dishes such as green gazpacho with baby clams, and roast veal with polenta and anchovies.

Le Grain de Sel 39 rue de la Paix-Marcel-Paul. Tel. (33) 4-91-54-47-30.

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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