It has been a while since we went to Marseille, one of my favorite French restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen (there are not that many) and I realized that I only went there for lunch or brunch, never for dinner. So it was time to change that! We ended up there on a Friday night, the place mainly filled with theater goers considering that, starting 7:30pm, lots of patrons left…
I like the feel of the place, except the dimmed lights: a bit noisy, I could still enjoy a nice conversation with Jodi, and the service was quite good and efficient.
Food wise, they have some of the classic dishes you are expecting, but still with traditional ones missing (you can’t propose everything anyway): escargots but no foie gras, duck breast instead of confit, with few appetizing options for vegetarians. Here is what we had:
A mandatory apéritif to have there is a Ricard or pastis, an anise-flavoured spirit from South of France, especially the city of Marseille, that was first commercialized by Paul Ricard in 1932, that you typically drink with a bit of water. I had it with a drop of mint, what we call a “perroquet” or parrot, giving to the drink an interesting color.
I then got their escargots, prepared also with pastis, garlic butter and herb bread crumbs. Very good, I could not resist dipping my bread in the sauce, the best part of the dish!
Then, Jodi got a few small dishes: the first one was the Marseille salad that is bibb lettuce, toasted hazelnuts (she asked without), unfortunately overdressed.
The second was the goat cheese tart that has been on the menu for a very long time: it is made with a deliciously flakey puff pastry, goat cheese, tomato confit and caramelized onions. This is a fantastic dish and I love the combination of the confit and sweet caramelized onions with the goat cheese.
The third was the panisse or chickpea fries served with a rosemary mayonnaise.
Pretty good, but not as good as the fries that accompanied my steak. Yes, I rarely order steaks in restaurants when not a steakhouse, but cannot resist a steak frites from time to time. What is always surprising me is how thick the steak is usually compared to France where it will be maybe 0.4 inches thin. It was good, but not exceptional: for the same price range, I would go to Le Relais de Venise that only serves steak frites smothered by a secret sauce that is to die for. The steak was served with a béarnaise sauce that was quite good: I just wish there was more of it.
For dessert, we decided to try their Valrhona chocolate cake that was delicious, oozing chocolate in the center and perfect with the raspberry coulis it was served with.
So overall we had a good dinner at Marseille: it is a nice place that serves a delicious menu. I’ll be back for sure!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Marseille - 630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036