Saturday, August 04, 2012

Bouillabaisse at Le Rhul, Marseille

Monday 16 July
We couldn't leave Provence without having a proper bouillabaisse in Marseille, so we searched the internet and found some good recommendations on Chowhound (though the favorite, Chez Fonfon, is closed on Monday).  This led to a hair-raising drive through the city; there was lots of construction around the vieux port, and Garmin kept sending us the wrong way on one-way streets (but then, that's how most of the locals were driving).  Eventually we got to the rather luxe restaurant Le Rhul, and even found a parking place right on the precipitous hill behind.
Le Rhul is one of the restaurants that subscribe to a sort of covenant of bouillabaisse, which they give out to anyone who seems interested.  They are not at all secretive about the ingredients, either; they don't need to be, as many of the essential ones can't be obtained anywhere but Marseille. 
We ordered a Bandol rosé, and as well as the classic soup, a dish of a little lobster, nicely halved, sprinkled with scallops (one with pink coral, one with white) in a pink sauce with a leek timbale. 

Both of us got bibs, luckily, because despite the well-trained waiter boning the fish for us, we would have to wrestle with our shellfish a good deal.

Also impressive was the marble mortar full of rouille.

It was a long lunch, but a merry one; and no dinner was required, as we went to bed at 9 PM in order to get up early enough to make our 7 AM flight home.  
So farewell, Provence; we hope to come back soon.

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