Le Petit Nice, Marseille, 3/21/19

exterior
exterior

Le Petit Nice is the only restaurant in Marseille to receive a 3 Michelin star rating.   It is in a luxury hotel that overlooks the water with Gérald Passedat as the chef.  The dining room has windows on 3 sides of its hexagon shape that overlook the water and lights of the city.  It was a lovely view even in the dark when you could’t see as much.  It was a bit hard to find the entry as we were walking to it.  A taxi would know to call at the gate to the parking lot but in the meantime we got to look into the kitchen from the passage way alongside the building.  The well spaced cloth covered tables are good sized and set with comfortable swivel chairs.  No music plays in the background, candles are on the tables and lights are slightly dimmed.  It is old school enough that the ladies menus don’t have prices.  They offer several tasting menus and an a la carte menu which is mostly seafood and vegetables. Service was good as was portion control of the tasting menu.

kitchen
kitchen, seen through outside window
kitchen
kitchen, seen through outside window
building
building
entrance
entrance
interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
table set up
table set up
Frankie found a fish knife rest
Frankie found a fish knife rest
cactus garden outside
cactus garden outside
menu 1
“Passedat” menu 1
menu 2
menu 2
menu 3
menu 3
menu 4
menu 4
menu 5
menu 5
menu 6
menu 6
menu 7
menu 7
menu 8
menu 8
Frankie and chef's cookbook
Frankie and chef’s cookbook

 

With some nice thin, crisp breadsticks came a broth of lobster.  You had to pick a “tea bag” filled with herbs to provide extra seasoning.   It was a blue liquid steeped in your bowl while they brought out focaccia and then cut you a slice.  It was seasoned with some oil and was tasty and so fresh.  The broth was nice.

breadsticks
breadsticks
breadsticks
breadsticks
herb addition
herb addition
pour in broth
pour in broth
steeping
steeping
Frankie shared the restaurant details
Frankie shared the restaurant details

 

An amuse of red tuna was presented in beet juice with shredded Daikon radish.  The tuna was exceptional.

red tuna
red tuna
closer
closer
foccacia
foccacia
focaccia
sliced foccacia

 

An oyster was under a thin sheet of skinned sea breem.  The French oyster was well complimented by the fish and a bit of yellow purée was on the side of the plate if you wanted additional seasoning.  It was good.

oyster in sea bream
oyster in sea bream
closer
closer
sauce
sauce
Frankie found salt in a shell
Frankie found salt in a shell

 

Southern Fish in  Caravan was more sea breem with botarga and Crystal caviar from China.  Some bits of the fish were called ‘cracklings’ because they were deep fried and provided a nice contrast with the cauliflower purée with fish extraction and cauliflower jus.  The botarga was cut into thick chunks that also added texture as well as some smokiness.   The cauliflower thickened into a good sauce and went well with all the other ingredients.  An excellent dish.

presentation
presentation
sea bream with botarga and caviar
sea bream with botarga and caviar
closer
closer

 

The kitchen sent out a tray with the various seafood being used and the presenter answered questions and pointed out the various fish.

tray of fish
tray of fish
Frankie found plants
Frankie found plants

 

The Lucie Passedat Sea Bass was a piece of bass topped with a truffle slice and served with a bowl of zucchini emulsion.  The bass was topped with an attractive arrangement of zucchini .  The fish was cooked at a low temperature and it yeilded a moist tender piece of fish.  The emulsion was topped with a truffle slice but also studded with bits of truffle that really didn’t have much truffle flavor.  Both bowls held wonderful dishes that were good mixed or eaten separately.

presentation
presentation
sea bass with truffle
sea bass with truffle
closer
closer
zuchinni emulsion
zucchini emulsion
inside
inside
Frankie and the table flowers
Frankie and the table flowers

 

More breads were offered, baguettes and white rolls.

bread selection
bread selection

 

Veil of the Catch of the Day and Cuttlefish Reduction were next.   The croaker fish was cooked in a low temperature then pan seared and topped with some crispy skin and was sitting in a cuttlefish reduction.   Alongside was a pan seared gnocchi that was sitting in an octopus bolognese sauce.  The gnocchi was soft and gooey and went well with the spicy sauce.  Both bowls were good but I wasn’t sure that they complimented each other but they didn’t fight either.  I enjoyed them both, separately.

crocker fish with cuttlefish reduction
croaker fish with cuttlefish reduction/gnocchi
closer
closer
another view
another view
from the top
from the top
side view
side view
closer
gnocchi closer
antoher view
another view
separated
separated
Frankie swung on the purse holder
Frankie swung on the purse holder

 

Sea urchin was served with celeriac.  It was fanned out and had a jelly like texture.  It was mildly flavored but not a compelling dish.  It looked better than it was.

Sea urchin
sea urchin
closer
closer
closest
closest

 

“My Sea Garden”  was Hake fish with shrimp, oyster, clam, cuttlefish, leeks, seaweed and mussels in a sea water emulsion accented with plankton olive oil.   Alongside was a plate of some fried shrimp heads, which you ate whole.  They  mostly were a bit of crispiness with a slight shrimp flavor.  The hake soup was full of things and interesting with some parts being better than others and rating an overall nice.

My Sea Garden and fried shrimp heads
My Sea Garden and fried shrimp heads
closer
closer
fried shrimp heads closer
fried shrimp heads closer
Frankie warmed by the table candle
Frankie warmed by the table candle

 

Cheeses from Philippe Oliver were a nice selection and all tasty but the star here was the bread that came with the course.  It was tasty, chewy bread stuffed with figs.  It was delicious and perfect to go with cheese.

cheese cart explanations
cheese cart explanations
closer
closer
selections
selections
with bread
with bread
another plate with roll
another plate with bread
inside
inside
inside closer
inside pulled out some
Frankie snuck a glance
Frankie snuck a glance

 

The pre-dessert was an avocado with white chocolate purée and frozen purée of pomegranate in a pomegranate sauce.  The avocado was good with the white chocolate and mixed well with the cool sorbet.  The pomegranate seeds added a fun texture.  It was different and good.

pre dessert avocado puree
pre-dessert avocado purée
closer
closer
turned
turned
after dinner drink
after dinner drink
Frankie and the brandy
Frankie and the brandy

 

Dessert was several items.  Earl Grey tea with honey was made into ice cream and topped with a crisp and alongside was a turnover with pistachio and  honey emulsion with milk.  Chestnut and honey was gooey and sweet.  The last part was a couple pieces of nougat.  They were all okay.

Earl Gray tea and honey
Earl Grey tea and honey ice cream
another view
another view
pistachio, meringue sticks
pistachio, meringue sticks
inside
inside
chestnut and honey
chestnut and honey
chestnut honey
chestnut honey closer
nougat
nougat
Frankie played on the handtowels
Frankie played on the hand towels

 

Delicacies were apple, quince and coriander in a white ball.  They tasted heavily of cilantro.  With them were bars of a cereal and date purée.  They were chewy and good.  An orange jelly was sticky and average.  Some passion fruit was in a shell that was soft and awful.  Chocolates were in an oval shape, dusted with cocoa and filled with black olives.  They were not good.   Lastly was a celeriac cream in a cup and I didn’t care for it either.

final treats
final treats
orange jelee
orange jelly
inside
inside
apple, corinader and quince
apple, coriander and quince
inside
inside
cereal and date
cereal and date
closer
another view
inside
inside
passion fruit
passion fruit
inside
inside
chocolate with black olive
chocolate with black olive
closer
closer
inside
inside
inside
inside
closer
celeriac cream closer
Framkie explored
Frankie explored
bill holder
bill holder
interesting art
interesting art
interior
interior
owner's dog
owner’s dog
Frankie and chef's cookbook
Frankie and one of chef’s cookbooks

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