2 Restau­rant Saisons

France - - Bon Appétit -

For proof of Mar­seille’s ex­cit­ing food scene look no fur­ther than Saisons, a new ad­dress that puts sea­sonal din­ing in the spot­light. Behind a heavy win­dow drape in the sixth ar­rondisse­ment, the in­ti­mate din­ing room has just eight-or-so ta­bles and is min­i­mal­ist in de­sign, dec­o­rated with wood, iron and other raw ma­te­ri­als. My part­ner and I pull up stools at the kitchen counter to en­joy front-row views of chef Julien Diaz ( pic­tured right) as he sizzles, truf­fle-grates and blow-torches his culi­nary cre­ations with pre­ci­sion.

No evening menu is of­fered – din­ers choose ei­ther five or eight cour­ses and wait for what ar­rives. Dishes don’t just change daily, but can vary dur­ing ser­vice, so that no two ta­bles re­ceive the same com­bi­na­tion. “Work­ing with small pro­duc­ers means that quan­ti­ties don’t al­ways stretch to 30 cov­ers. We serve what we have,” the wait­ress ex­plains.

Each course is a vis­ually strik­ing and imag­i­na­tive de­light. We be­gin with a flaw­less strip of mack­erel com­ple­mented by a sharp berry sauce, then tuck into al-dente wild as­para­gus risotto. Next comes pan-fried foie gras on a tan­gle of caramelised onions and ten­der Ca­mar­gue beef pil­lowed by creamy pump­kin puree. Dishes are per­fectly por­tioned, leav­ing space for a flavoursome tarte au cit­ron ac­com­pa­nied by wa­ter­melon ice-cream.

Ru­mour has it that this so­phis­ti­cated spot is des­tined for a Miche­lin star. Visit now be­fore it wins one and gets dis­cov­ered by the crowds. Open Mon-fri 12pm-1.30pm, 7.30pm-9.30pm (closed Mon­day night). Lunch set menu €29; evening five cour­ses from €55. 8 Rue Sainte-vic­toire, 13006 Mar­seille Tel: (Fr) 9 51 89 18 38, restau­rant­saisons.com

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