La Boîte à Sardine

La Boîte à Sardine (Marseille)

© Marianne Aubry-Lecomte

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The years seem to glide over this Boîte à Sardine like seafoam over a rock, as the buccaneering Fabien Rugi and his loyal chef Céline Bonnieu hold the course. Surrounded by buoys and vintage sardine tins, the passengers of the day brace themselves for waves of local freshness: dashing butterflied mackerel with a mustard sauce; tasty sardine and mint meatballs that were breaded and then fried, with sauce chien on the side for dipping; monkfish tail cooked until golden, with pan-fried zucchini, haricots verts and purslane; Camargue palourde clams seasoned with a bitter wild arugula pesto…. And to finish on a sweet note, a very simple melon and watermelon fruit salad for dessert. // N.K. and A.S.

FEELING THIRSTY? A Bière des Gardians beer brewed with Camargue rice (€4.50 for 330 ml) and local wines: an Alpilles white from the Domaine d’Estoublon (€4 a glass), a Cassis white from the Domaine des Quatre Vents (€20 for 500 ml), a biodynamic Var white from the Domaine de la Réalitère (€30 a bottle)…

PRICE: Plates €13-18.

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