Restaurant AM, Marseille, 3/22/19

exterior
exterior

Restaurant AM is a small place that offers 3 tasting menus based on the number of courses (10, 15-20, 20-30) with the courses sometimes just being one bite.  The night we were there they did offer a supplemental courses with truffles (some were under a dome on the table to temp you) for 55 euros and a comté cheese with caviar for 35 euros.  We chose the longest tasting and the cheese course.  It sounds like a lot more food than it was;  it is easily manageable because of great portion control and a fairly rapid pacing.   The rustic bare wood tables with metal legs are set nicely a part and with comfortable ‘plastic string chairs’.  The open kitchen is one corner of the place and music plays in the background but sound panels in the ceiling control noise levels.  A few seats are available at the bar where you could interact more with the chefs.  A couple windows are open to the street and the light fixtures are set to give a warm glow to the room.  Servers spoke good English and were really helpful and friendly.  Chef Alexandre Mazzia was in the kitchen, as he has been for 5 years, and was awarded 2 Michelin stars last February, which are a good indication of the quality of the food you’ll find here.  The dishes are innovative and loaded with flavor.  You’ll want to lick the plate clean in many instances.  They were nice enough to give me a listing of the courses before we left but it is a surprise as you dine.  If you have the opportunity to go, I would suggest you take it!

interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
interior
table set up
table set up
Frankie sniffed at the truffles on the table
Frankie sniffed at the truffles on the table
menu cover
menu cover
inside menu
inside menu

 

We started with a glass of champagne and then switched to wine.

champagne
champagne

 

The first round of tastes were presented in a group of four.  Wagyu beef was seasoned with a ginger beer and red Campari (bitter).  It was tender, raw and good.  On a small spoon were baby grey shrimp with a barbecue sauce of chili and vinegar.  They were slightly spicy and wonderful.  Jerusalem artichoke purée with botarga was on a crisp chip.  It has a nice essence of artichoke flavor.  Parmesan, pistachio and pomegranate  was in the form of 2 parmesan crisp chips filled with pistachio flavored cream.  They were excellent.

amuse bouche
chili / grey shrimps & vinegar / Jerusalem artichoke purée with botarga / parmesan, pistachio, pomegranate / Wagyu beef & bitter Campari
closer
Wagyu beef & bitter Campari
closer
grey shrimps with vinegar and chili
closer
Jerusalem artichoke purée with botarga
closer
parmesan, pistachio, pomegranate
Frankie noted the water bottle had chef's name
Frankie noted the water bottle had chef’s name

 

The next set of three courses contained smoked eel in chocolate.  The eel was creamed  and in a wonderful chocolate crust.  A dish of wild salmon eggs, saké, smoked milk and hazelnut was a dish of excellent flavors and textures.  A crispy vegetal biscuit was topped with flowers and filled with red pepper and lemon.  It was supposed to taste like the sea between a really thin set of crackers with an anise like flavor.  It was wonderful but I thought it tasted more like spring.

next round
Crispy vegetable biscuit & red pepper & lemon / Wild salmon eggs, sake, smoked milk, hazelnut / smoked eel and chocolate
???
smoked eel and chocolate
closer
closer

 

single
single
inside
inside
closer
Wild salmon eggs, sake, smoked milk, hazelnut
sandwich
Crispy vegetable biscuit & red pepper & lemon
closer
closer
more from the side
more from the side
inside
inside
Frankie warmed by the candle
Frankie warmed by the candle

 

The first bread was a round dark roll with a smoked unsalted butter accented with exotic lime.  The bread was fairly light and the addition of lime was an interesting twist on things.

bread and butter
bread and butter
closer
closer
inside
inside
wine
wine
somm and Frnakie
Sommelier Jean-Philippe and Frankie

 

The next grouping included a spoon with Denti fish, beetroot, saké, and spider crab.  It was nice.  A bowl of couscous, orange blossom and shell fish soup was accented with a little wasabi.  The shellfish soup was poured on the couscous which absorbed it to yield a texture like broken cornbread with gravy.  This was comfort food in a fabulous form.  The amazing textures and tastes made this one yummy.   A bowl with mackerel, mussels, coconut, and beetroot was dressed with herb sauce.  It was good.

spoons
Denti fish, beetroot, saké, spider crab
closer
closer
grains presentation
Couscous, orange blossom, shell fish soup
grains
liquid added
closer
closer
beginning
beginning
with broth
Mackerel, mussels, coconut, herbs sauce, beetroot
closer
closer
underneath
underneath

 

Another bread loaf came with next set of tastes.  It was foccacia like with a seaweed butter.

bread and butter
bread and butter
dark haired girl
Friendly server Claris and Frankie

 

Langoustine was on a carrot purée and covered with a cassava root slice.  The plate was decorated with green herb flavors and a sauce made from chicken liver, egg yolk, rice vinegar and cumin. The carrot was really sweet and good and the langoustine was cooked perfectly and also sweet and tender.  It was a wonderful combination that also a nice hint of spiciness.

brown gravy
Langoustine, cassava, carrots, vegetal texture
sauced
with more sauces
closer
closer
underneath
underneath

 

Crispy spinach, pike perch eggs and chili was an excellent combination of spicy and flavor in a little bun.   It was fun to eat.

biscuit
Crispy spinach, pike perch eggs, chili
anther vioew
another view
inside
inside
Frankie found the Michelin sign
Frankie found the Michelin sign

 

Chicken oysters were with a white butter saffron sauce under crispy skin.  The crispy part added a nice crunch and the chicken had excellent flavor.

next
Oyster, white butter saffron, chicken
closer
closer
underneath
underneath

 

Asparagus and spinach were served with a duck-verbenia sauce and some Jeruselem  artichoke and buckwheat water foam.  This was a yummy plate filled with flavor and texture in a great combination.

asparagus
Asparagus, spinach, duck-verbenia sauce
closer
closer

 

One last component was a cup of shiso soup that was surprisingly spicy with a nice afterburn.   It was herby and tasty.

Frankie checked out the tea
Frankie checked out the broth
broth
broth

 

Gamberro Rosso, or red prawn, were served almost raw with a lovely spicy component and a hint of bitterness.

shrim;p
Gamberro rosso
turned
turned

 

Alongside was “Tropezienne”  brioche stuffed with sardine and topped with grapefruit and colonatta lardo.  It was great bread and the lardo added even more richness and a hint of spice came from something.

bun s
“Tropezienne” brioche, sardine, grapefruit, colonatta lardo
inside
inside
Frankie found flowers
Frankie found flowers

 

Smoked cauliflower, avocado, dragon juice (spicy carrot juice) and shellfish soup combined for a colorful plate.  Some bits of crisp chicken skin added texture and flavor.  Another good one.

oranbe sauce
Smoked cauliflowers, avocado, dragon juice, shellfish soup
little closer
little closer
Frankie helped finish up
Frankie helped finish up

 

Red mullet and tapioca were alongside wasabi ice cream.  The fish was blackened and nicely cooked with good flavor.  The tapioca was a Japanese pearl that popped nicely when you ate them and topped with a cassava and vegetable sauce.  It was fun and tasty.  The ice cream was mildly flavored and made a nice accompaniment.

fish and goo
Red mullet and tapioca
tuned and closer
turned and closer
fish
fish
goo
tapioca
tartar sauce
wasabi ice cream
pnytail and frankie
Sweet server Aurelie and Frankie

 

The Comté cheese had been aged 36 months and was served with a dot of caviar that was aged 3 years and white chocolate on toast.  The same combination was also combined with Jerusalem artichoke and lemon to produce a more liquid form.  The liquid form was a bit tart whereas the toast was a wonderful combination.  White chocolate and cheese go great with caviar.

cheese course
Comté cheese course
clsoer
closer
another view
another view
cheese
cheese

 

A raspberry sorbet was really spiced up with something that cut the cloying taste raspberries sometimes get.  It was a good transition course.

spoons
raspberry sorbet
antoher angle
another angle
Frankie lounged
Frankie lounged on the hand towels

 

A cannelés texture cake was seasoned with coffee and topped with kiwi and hibiscus cream. It was very nice and a totally moist cake that tasted of coffee and was nicely sweetened with the toppings.

kiwi
presentation
closer
closer
another shot
Cannelés texture, coffee hibiscus and kiwi
underneath
underneath
dessert wine
dessert wine

 

A cup held lemon, white chocolate and guava.  It was amazing – lick this one clean – tart, smooth, great lemon.  It worked perfectly with the sweet white chocolate and bits of crispy topping.

cup
lemon, white chocolate and guava

 

Last in this grouping was Matcha green tea and milk jam ice cream.  It was nicely creamy and did taste like tea.

spoons
Matcha green tea and milk jam ice cream
Frankie found cigars
Frankie found cigars

 

Next set included a spoon of spicy aloe vera that had a jelly texture and was nice.  Slices of mango held nicely sweetened pineapple with a bit of citronella seasoning.  It was odd but the sweet pineapple was so good it was hard to not like.   A pineapple ice cream was seasoned with saffron and espelette pepper.  It was a great combination with intense pineapple flavor in a cool and smooth texture.  It left a nice burn on your lips.  A bowl of chocolate was combined with turnips and bacon.  The bacon was in powder form.  The dish had a lot of flavor and nice texture from some cookies in it.  The turnips (white disks) were a bit jarring but overall it was quite good.

spoons
spicy aloe vera
egg yolk
mango and pineapple
closer
closer
inside
inside
from the top
pineapple saffron ice cream
closer
another view
bowl
chocolate, turnips, bacon
tuned
over lit
turned
turned
inside
mixed
after dinner drinks
after dinner drinks
after dinner drinks 2
after dinner drinks 2

 

Final treats were white chocolate disks filled with avocado and accented with mustard seeds.  They were presented in a bowl filled with seeds that stuck to the filling and gave it nice texture.  A ‘praline’ was made with sweet potato, pear and passion fruit.  It was a crisp layer on the bottom that held the creamy upper parts together.  The sliced fresh pear on top was sweet and good.

more treats
final treats
closer
white chocolate and avocado
closer
sweet potato, pear and passion fruit
inside
inside
from the side
from the side
Frankie studied it
Frankie studied it
dessert wine
dessert wine

 

The usual end photo of the chef with Frankie wouldn’t work for this chef.  He didn’t want to hold Frankie but would be photographed with the human component of this blog.  Frankie was disappointed but I was easily cropped out.

chef
Chef Alexandre Mazzia

 

 

2 thoughts on “Restaurant AM, Marseille, 3/22/19

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