Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Trip to Marseille, France: Le Malthazar

By the time we arrived in Marseille and to the hotel, it was pretty late. And we were pretty tired. We walked around just a bit until it was dinner time. We picked Le Malthazar because it would seat 6 people and it was a suggestion from the Michelin Bib Gourmand. As we looked over the menu, we snacked on the complimentary fish salad, olives, and bread.



After asking a few questions, it was a no brainer to choose the €31 three course meal. You can pick from any of the selections on the menu. Considering most of the a la carte items were in the range of €16-€30, this was a steal. (The prices listed below are the regular prices when you order a la carte).

I started with the oysters, fresh from the day's catch (€18). Marseille is a port town so seafood is a big part of their local cuisine.
Opened and ready to be eaten. Just a couple of squeezes of lemon was need to accent the briny nature of the oysters. These were very fresh and I enjoyed them immensely.
Ms Lollipop ordered the beef tartare with frites (€18). The serving size was quite big and could almost be a main course, especially with the accompanying fries.
And this is the daurade filet (€27) over a bed of vegetables with a caper sauce on top which was immensely enjoyed by Mr. Matzo Ball.
And this is the open faced ravioli with peas and cockles (€18). Refreshing, light, and delicate. A really interesting take on this dish.
For my main dish, I had the foie gras in vegetables soup (€22). This was really interesting. The fatty pieces of foie gras sat delicately in the light spring vegetable soup. It actually worked really well with the rich pieces of liver and the light soup. I could eat this all day.
Many of my other friends had the ratatouille (€20) which they raved about. It had a creamy tomato soup, sauteed vegetables, and a tomato sorbet. Wow, what an interesting rendition of the classic French vegetable dish. All the components were very flavorful on their own but were even more wonderful put together.
Here's the liver and whipped potatoes (€25) with an herb dressing. A simple dish of offal and potatoes.
For dessert, I had the navettes biscuit (known in Provence) with litchee sorbet and passion fruit cream (€8). This was really light and exactly what I wanted at the end of the night. The sweetness of the sorbet to the tartness of the passion fruit to the slight floral orange flavor of the cookie. It was well balanced.
And this is a dark chocolate and raspberry dessert (€8) that fooled the chocolate lovers of the table. They were expecting more chocolate than fruit but it was quite the opposite. Raspberry sorbet, raspberry puree, and pieces of dark chocolate.
Another baba au rhum (€9) which we enjoyed more this time around. The bread was more fresh and the rum syrup soaked more evenly. It was quite good, I admit.
And some raspberry sorbet (€7). Nothing special here but just fine.
I really enjoyed Le Malthazar. The food was fresh, light, inventive, delicious, and affordable. The service friendly and attentive. I would definitely go back.

Le Malthazar
19 Rue Fortia
Marseille, France 13001
+33 4 91 33 42 46
malthazar.fr

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