2 Restaurant Saisons
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