Restaurant L’Idéal in MarseilleL’Idéal (Marseille) - © J. Oppenheim

Biggest Crush of 2017

The eatery that Marseille has been dreaming about just opened up smack dab in the middle of the Noailles neighborhood, located between spice dealers, Tunisian sandwich shops and Armenian bakeries. The owner of L’Idéal, who greets you wearing a royal blue blouse, is one Julia Sammut: a talented food writer tracking down Mediterranean flavors, a former partner at the Bureau du Fooding and a burgeoning member of a family of terroiriste restaurateurs. At lunch, she digs into her carefully sourced épicerie selection, jam-packed with mouthwatering rarities: baked San Giovanni ham, Maison David pastrami, Bordier dairy products…. The day we went there were respectable sourdough tartines with cream of olives, shaved fennel, raw asparagus, Kalamata olives and feta; a sweet and intense concoction of grilled peppers and Collioure anchovies; juicy Gardanne beets with lamb’s lettuce and croutons, etc. To wash it all down? A red VDP from the Domaine Tramier in the Vaucluse, served from the tap of a big canister at the entrance, or tangy Niasca Mandarinata, which arrived directly from Portofino in Julia’s suitcases…. The desserts are in keeping with the rest, which is to say simple yet classy: a bowl of ciflorette strawberries with homemade whipped cream and miniature meringues. And, as a bonus, you can leave with a full basket of provisions, so you can continue playing L’Idéal at home. Plates from €7.50 to €14, sandwiches €7.50, wine €4,50 (a glass). // Valentine Leÿs

Getting there

Restaurant L’Idéal
11, rue d'Aubagne
TEL: +33 9 80 39 99 41
Cherry on the cake: www.myprovence.fr