La Mercerie

La Mercerie (Marseille)

© Laura Vidal

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Best known for having livened up the Hôtel Nord-Pinus in Arles during the summer months, the trio behind Paris Popup (Julia Mitton, Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins) cast their anchor in Marseille back in 2018. In this old haberdashery in the working-class Noailles neighborhood (granito tile floors, stripped-bare walls, a chestnut wood bar), the British chef (ex-Frenchie in Paris) audaciously stitches together some sensational menus. The night we went, the chef’s menu included: tasty cherry tomatoes from Bandol, tucked into homemade ricotta and intensified by wild arugula; spellbinding monkfish liver cubes tickled by kombu confit, mirin and sesame oil; graceful dry-aged bluefin tuna sashimi, glazed with a grilled tuna head oil, and seasoned with shiso, fermented melon and Andaliman pepper; rich coco de Paimpol beans in a spicy sauce thickened by crab roe, Thai basil and tourteau crabmeat; an incredible deboned, barbecued leg of lamb with garlicky haricots verts, taggiasche olives and a big braised shallot deglazed in Banyuls vinegar; before sliced peach with a pear jelly and a creamy fig leaf ice cream, for the very light dessert. // A.S.

FEELING THIRSTY? Laura only uncorks bottles of natural wine: a sparkling Vouvray from Paul Breton (€7 a glass), a Provence orange wine from Laura Aillaud (€10), La Souteronne, an Ardèche red from Hervé Souhaut (€40 a bottle), a Chablis from De Moor (€60), a Saint-Aubin white from Dominique Derain (€99)…

PRICE: Fixed-price menus €28-32 (lunch) and €51 (dinner).

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