Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 95
Wine Bar Bites
BAR DE LA RELÈVE
This neighborhood hub puts a current spin
on the beloved all-day French café. Fuel
your morning with fresh OJ and homemade
almond cake. The popular lunch offers three
daily comfort-cuisine specials - monkfish
with celery-root purée, say, or penne in watercress cream - and homemade desserts.
Night brings small plates for sharing: rare
beef with capers, garlicky pan de tomate,
and wedges of panisse, Marseille's iconic
chickpea fritters that put French fries to
shame. Inside, just 24 seats fill the space,
whose embossed wallpaper, mirrors, and
long bar evoke classic bistro style. Outside,
the seating capacity doubles - locals sit snug
as sardines at tables that spill out onto the
sidewalk. Over the beat of banter and '90s
hip-hop, the affable Greg Hessmann, one
of two owners, says, "This is a friends' bar.
Just good wine and good food." If you lived
in Marseille, Relève would be your local. 41
rue d'Endoume, Saint-Victor.
This welcoming wine bar stands steps
away from the colorful street art for
which the bobo - bourgeois-bohemian -
Cours Julien neighborhood is known.
Pull up a stool, or stand, French-style, at
the long zinc bar to sip small-production,
mostly biodynamic or natural wines,
such as the crisp Pouilly-Fumé from the
Loire Valley's Domaine Alexandre Bain.
French bars à vins offer a way to eat well
without the formality of a restaurant.
Here, what's in season inspires the everchanging menu. Co-owner Laurent Biaggi says of his market-driven cuisine,
"The only rule is there are no rules."
On the menu, for instance: razor clams
spiked with kiwi, paper-thin slices of
boudin (blood sausage) and beets, and
crispy whole cod served with a dollop of
aioli. The friendly atmosphere makes this
a fine spot for solo dining. 11 cours Julien,
Coogee: It's worth the stroll
or bike ride to the residential
neighborhood of Baille to taste
Marseille's best coffee. Pair
your caffeine with a fresh-fromthe-oven muffin, best savored
on the café's vintage leather
couch or on the terrace. 100
boulevard Baille, Baille.
Farmers' market: Provision
for a beach picnic with heirloom tomatoes, whole-grain
bread, and brousse du Rove -
the local specialty goat
cheese in a cone - at Cours
Julien's happening market
that sets up in the central
square. Wednesdays, 7 am to
1 pm . Cours Julien.
Gaspard: Sip thoughtfully
crafted cocktails at this intimate spot, where palm tree
wallpaper, a Mediterraneanblue bar, and dark wood walls
create a tiki-chic vibe.
7 boulevard Notre-Dame,
MinaKouk: At this charming,
tangerine-tinted café and tearoom, lunch on North African
cuisine - chicken tagine and
fava bean harira - or pop in
anytime for homemade baklava and a glass of traditional
mint tea. 21 rue Fontange,
Drinks and diversion at all-day spot Bar de la Relève and (right) fruit-forward pastries
at Sylvain Depuichaffray.
Sylvain Depuichaffray: The
display case at this popular
patisserie is a pastry lover's
dream, brimming with delights
both classic (brioche au
chocolat) and new (green-tea
mille-feuille). Take your baked
goods to go or tuck into them
in the adjoining salon de thé.
66 rue Grignan, Opéra.
S E PT E M B E R | O CTO B E R 2 0 17