Marseille, France’s most Moroccan-influenced city, is a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen that I recommend. It’s a place to have brunch, al fresco dining or a quick bite on way to theatre. This time, I stopped in on my way to see Once, the 11-time, Tony-nominated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film.
I skipped the meze — a classic at this French-Moroccan restaurant — and opted for the lightly charred octopus tossed with shreds of tomato and shaved fennel, topped with crispy shoestring potatoes, drizzled with paprika oil ($13.50); and a huge bowl of moules ($19.50) in a light white wine, garlic and tomato broth, served with a side of some of the crispiest fries I’ve sampled. They were so delicious that we (a party of three) asked for ($6) for an extra order.
Also sampled was the very fresh tuna tartare, with fresh fennel, shallots, lemon and oil, served with horseradish creme fraiche and nicoise olive emulsion then garnished with crisp pommes gaufrette ($13.25). Our 100-percent Cortese grape Fagini gavi di gavi del comune 2010 ($44) was perfect with each dish.