Matza (Marseille)

© Matza

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Ma(t)zal tov! Here’s to the new Levantine restaurant in the Notre-Dame-du-Mont neighborhood (in the old Mediterranean spot Omer), run by Mathieu Zard (a former tour operator manager) and Yossi Levy (ex-Nour in Paris). Given a makeover by Marseille-based architect Manon Lespagney, the whitewashed space that’s about as wide as a hallway boasts azure blue tables all lined up in a row and terra cotta light fixtures, with folk rock playing gently in the background. The day we went for lunch, plump mezze and a few well-known mains with influences stretching from Naples to Aleppo, paraded out of the semi-open kitchen with an emerald green backsplash: delicious charred eggplant with tahini and date molasses; wolfish tartare that was a little lost in a cold hibiscus broth, with harissa granita and diced raw celery; clever shawarma that you fill up yourself with slivers of fried meagre, fava bean hummus and thinly sliced onion dusted in sumac; or pappardelle made fresh that morning, delicately wrapped up in beef ragù and zhoug (a chili, garlic and cilantro sauce); before a delicious rose water malabi or lace-like crepe cannelloni stuffed with hazelnut ganache and caramelized hazelnuts for dessert. Plus a special mention for the excellent Pain Pan bread served on the side! // Gwen Jacquère 

FEELING THIRSTY? : Around 20 natural European/Mediterranean wines to choose from: Attention Chenin Méchant, a Loire wine from Nicolas Reau (€7 a glass), an Italian white pet’ nat’ from La Cantina Furlani (€35 a bottle), Tarala, a Greek blanc de noirs sparkling wine (€40), or Cartouche, a Languedoc red produced by Mylène Bru (€33 a bottle)… Along with cocktails (First Call with gin, homemade cucumber syrup, lime, prosecco, apple juice, Cinzano blanc, €12), Gallia lager (€5.50 for 330 ml) and arak (€4 for 20 ml).  
PRICE: : Mezzes €7-12, mains €15-23, desserts €7-9, shared cuts of meat for two €48-52. 

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