Les Vieilles Canailles

Les Vieilles Canailles (Aix-en-Provence)

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With its big wine barrels at the entrance, rows of bottles and the famous Epaulé-Jeté poster by Michel Tolmer hanging on the wall, the Vieilles Canailles bistro has become the #1 spot for wine-loving Aix locals and well-informed tourists. The reason for its success? The resolutely cheeky dishes dreamt up by Pierre Hochart (ex-Ducasse in Monaco) and the outstanding wines that have been carefully selected to go with them. The other day at lunch, the menu featured: a gigantic piece of bone marrow roasted with herbs; conger from Marseille in a fish soup that smelled beautifully of fennel and star anise – or a big yellow zucchini stuffed with creamy burrata; before an impeccable tarte Tatin made with apples and redcurrants from the garden, served with a spoonful of crème fraîche. And the blackboard dinner menu featured pork trotter carpaccio, braised veal chuck steak and roasted vegetables, free-range guinea fowl ballotine stuffed with walnuts, cheeses from Banon, a Paris-Brest for dessert… // M.F.

FEELING THIRSTY? Only good things: a blanc de blancs Champagne from Les Vieilles Canailles (€7 a glass), a local red from the Domaine de Belambrée (€24 a bottle), a Bandol rosé from Baravéou (€35)…

PRICE: Menu €19-23 (lunch), à la carte €31-45 (dinner).

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