Restaurant Inari (Arles)

© Inari

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Make way ahead! After years of pop-upping, the supremely talented Céline Pham is finally settling down in Arles and giving us a delicious restaurant on Place Voltaire where nothing is fake, and everything is personal – and proving that she’s still got plenty of verve. Boasting a solid gold résumé (Septime, Tontine and Fulgurances in Paris, or Drum Café at the Fondation Luma), it’s in this former chapel that she opened up Inari – entirely orange floors, a brick and raftered ceiling, bistro furniture, two peaceful terraces… Dig in at lunch, like we did: sea bream from Le Grau-du-Roi prepared like sashimi with flame-charred skin, lounging on a chili purée sweetened by thin slices of red and yellow beets and cucumber, with purple shiso and cilantro; perfect chicken from Monsieur Pons (tender meat, crispy skin), paired with eggplant escabèche and eggplant caviar with woodruff vinegar, plus a creamy Grand Roux Basque corn polenta, all topped with a rich tamarind jus and dotted with fig leaf oil; before a graphically pleasing dessert of tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries with a Thai basil sorbet and a lovely verbena meringue. But that’s not all! She also receives guests on Saturday evenings for a set menu – which was centered around an incredible phô the first time… Wowzers! // Raoul Taburin

FEELING THIRSTY? Let yourself be guided by the pairings (€21 for three glasses) or dig into the thirty-some well-chosen bottles by Rafaëlle Emery: a Provence white from Henri Milan (€54 a bottle), an Hérault Syrah by Mylène Bru (€37)… Unless you’d prefer a Belgian beer from the Brasserie 3 Fonteinen (€15 for 750 ml).
PRICE: Set menu €41 (lunch and Saturday evenings).

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