“Halles spirit, where are you?” Standing at Arlette’s aniseed green bar, that’s where! At the end of Allée Paprika inside the covered market, Arlette tirelessly brings a little cheeky fun to Nîmes’ taste buds from her stand lined with barstools. And if it’s no longer possible (just like it was in the good old days) to show up at dawn for some duck hearts after a night of partying during the féria, you can still come around 10:30 for some tasty tapas. The last time we went: thin slices of manchego tickled with olive oil; homemade fries chopped as big as eggplant slices; very nice plancha-grilled andouillette skewers; perfect cumin-spiced kefta meatballs; not to mention her renowned duck hearts covered in plenty of parsley and garlic butter. For dessert, opt for a classic: an impeccable crème brûlée or a hearty chocolate lava cake with chocolate chips. // T.M.
FEELING THIRSTY? Local wines at friendly prices: a rosé that goes down easy from the Château Virgile (€2 a glass, €6 for a 500-ml pitcher), a Chardonnay from the Domaine de Cauviac in the Piémont Cévenol (€15 a bottle), a red Costières-de-Nîmes from the Mas des Bressades (€22)…
PRICE: Small plates €4.50 to €8.50, dishes of the day €12 to €14.50, desserts €5 to €5.50.