Alcyone is a one star Michelin star restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel. It is a stylish dining room on the second level of the hotel with large windows overlooking the city. The good sized room is filled with large well spaced tables draped with white clothes and set with large napkins. Beige tones are in the chairs, curtains and walls and a stunning overhead fixture gives off muted light while music plays in the background. There was a soundboard in the ceiling and the chairs were well padded with arms, so noise was not an issue. Table decorations were different sizes of metal fish. A modern rug is in the center of the room set off by the dark wood floor. The menu offers a 5 course chef selected tasting menu or a la carte selections. Wine pairings are available. Pacing started rapidly and then really slowed down and portion control was okay. The staff was friendly and spoke good English. We chose the tasting and a printed menu was offered to be presented at the end of the meal, but when that time came it was not ready or started. Continue reading
La Bonne Mère is a tiny place with about 6 tables – very casual. It is mostly a place for excellent pizza run by partners in life, Jérémie Piazza and Mahéva Angelmann. The walls are pretty much covered with mementos and art, with one wall being formed by a long stainless bar and that holds the register and wine bottles. The tables differ, some being wood and others metal, some clothed and others bare. It is a wonderfully cozy spot but if you want a table, reservations are a must – even at lunch. The rest of the business is take out. In the back of the restaurant is the giant pizza oven, where Jérémie makes incredible pies. The excellent crust is topped with fresh, quality ingredients. Not much English is spoken by the owners but enough for us to get by (especially with the help of another customer). However even with a language barrier, we couldn’t have felt more welcome. Wine selection is limited but very adequate.
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! Continue reading
Une Table, au Sud is located on the second story of a tourist souvenir shop along a busy strip of outdoor dining areas across from the water where many boats are docked. It was good sized with rock music in the background, a lowered ceiling, wood floor, white tableclothes and a great view. They offered a couple tasting menu options, a la carte and a lunch special. Wine pairings were available. Pacing was good and portions were fairly large. We had the 3-course lunch menu with wine pairings. Even though it has one Michelin star there were some service issues, like tardy delivery of the wine to go with the course and not very friendly servers. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Restaurant Saisons has about 8 tables in the main dining room, 2 seats in front of the kitchen window and a party room upstairs. In the dining room there is a large window to the kitchen and a good-sized bar which is just for service not seating. The front room or entry has some seats for waiting and a reception station along with the window to the street. Modern music plays in the background but a number of sound dampening panels on the ceiling keep the noise level down. The room has a modern look reinforced with the small tables of polished light wood and the concrete floor. The menu offered 2 surprise tasting options and a small a la carte menu. We chose the smaller 5 course menu. For a one star Michelin restaurant the meal’s pacing was not even, with a slow down after the first two courses, like the kitchen wanted the whole room to catch up and be on the same course. Service was friendly and helpful. Continue reading
L’Epuisette is on top of a rock overlooking the cove of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea. Chef Guillaume Sourrieu, who started here in the 1980’s, prepares local and Mediterranean cuisine that is created around what he can obtain from his local fish and vegetable suppliers. It is a medium-sized place and received one Michelin star in 2001. The dining room is striking with windows on two sides that look out to the water and the stone cliffs, however visibility is limited at night, but you could see boats and late night fisherman. There are some lights hanging from the ceiling that looked almost like jelly fish. Hanging fish, paintings, mirrors decorate the room with well spaced white cloth-covered tables. Music is in the background (it was turned down when more people arrived) and the lighting is lowered at night. Sound dampening panels are on the ceiling The menu offered tasting of 7 or 9 courses (a cheese course supplement is offered for 12 euros), a bouillabaisse menu and a la carte dishes. Continue reading
Chez Fanny is a tiny corner stand with one side a window looking in with several counter stools and the other side an order window. There are a few small outside tables opposite the order window, but it felt like a lot of orders might be for take out. It is a small menu but everything is prepared as you wait. One lady manned the shop and was busy making something that looked like cupcakes when we arrived, but she was quick to get our order and start our sandwiches. The menu offered sandwiches and burgers. Her favorite sandwich was the chicken one, “Le Rasta” made with chicken, tapenade, seasonal vegetables and a white cheese sauce. I added “frites” or fries to the order. It was huge and the vegetables were cucumber, mushroom and carrot. The tapenade was olives. It was well seasoned with lots of herbs. The chicken was cut and tender and moist, but all white meat. The bread was excellent with a good chew to the interior and a nice crust that was easily bitten through – although it was a wide open mouth affair. Did I already say it was huge? The random cut fries were dusted with herbs and salt and freshly fried but I wasn’t sure if they were pre-frozen. Either way, they were crisp and tasty. They were included with the “Le Gros Dédé” sandwich that also included lamb, vegetables and a sauce of white cheese. The lamb was hacked up into small pieces that cooked up very tender. The vegetables were carrots and onions and all was covered with a generous supply of fries on the same great bread. It was quite good and also huge. At just 5 euros each it was a really good deal for a lot of well flavored food. Continue reading