Restaurant Ripaille (Marseille)

© Chloé Langlais

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With the little Saint Ripailloux figurine watching over his bistro, party-starter Quentin Panabieres (aka Napo, ex-sommelier at Ötap in Brussels) sure sets the tone – which is sky blue, just like the shop front! Behind which flourish the talented Chloé Langlais (former art director) and Simon Erouart (ex-Ivresse), at your service, and Alix Eliard (ex-Auberge de Chassignolles), wielding a corkscrew – a team of number 10s who’ve kickstarted the party at the top of the Panier neighborhood in this cute joint filled with Formica furniture and antique crockery. That evening, we went for: astonishing ajo blanco (a chilled soup made from stale bread) with caramelized onions and refreshing watermelon chunks; simple green beans dressed in persillade, topped with crispy breadcrumbs and grated bottarga; Roussillon-inspired boles de picolat, or pork meatballs bobbing in a tomato, potato and olive stew; before a slightly heavy raspberry tart – or a moist nectarine and apricot cake that perfectly hit the spot. // Victoria Bout

FEELING THIRSTY? French wines that won’t break the bank: pet’ nat’ from La Pierre Levée in Gaillac (€24 a bottle), an Ardèche white grenache from Domaine Ozil (€22), or a Puy-de-Dôme gamay from Francine and François Dhumes (€39).

PRICE: Tapas-style small plates €6-22.

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