Chardon (Arles)

© Maeve Schauerman

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In their Arles bistro with a small patio, Julia Mitton, Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins (who also run La Mercerie in Marseille) welcome young chefs at the peak of their creativity for a few months at a time. After Lina Caschetto, Tamir Nahmias and Mads Christensen completed their residencies, it was time for Valentin Raffali (ex-Papa Kim Ramen) to take on the kitchens at Chardon. The day we went for lunch, he prepared a striking menu: tasty green, yellow and red open field tomatoes, melted scamorza, pangrattato and summer purslane; an impressive barbecued chicken thigh with a lemony yassa sauce, slow-roasted eggplant and pickled mustard seeds; before a comforting combo of roasted apricots in a cherry reduction, with a dacquoise cookie, white chocolate ganache and a sheep’s milk yogurt. Yum! At night, a suite of small plates prepared in the same vein file out from the kitchen. // M.F.

FEELING THIRSTY? 100% natural wines selected by Thomas Hilbert: Nedjma, an Ardèche white from Gilles Azzoni (€5.50 a glass), Cyprès de Toi, a Languedoc red from the Domaine Fond Cyprès (€4), Pino, an Alsatian white from the Domaine Geschickt (€44 a bottle), La Démesure, a Languedoc orange wine from Le Petit Domaine (€40).

PRICE: Fixed-price menus €29 (lunch, food and wine pairings €25 for three glasses) and €39 (five courses at dinner, +€35 for five glasses of wine).

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