Bistro du Cours is in an area with a tree lined pedestrian street, a welcome respite of calm from the busy urban environment nearby. It had glowing reviews, a warm welcoming server, and a very comfortable setting. The other patrons were all regulars who knew the waiter by name, always a good sign in any restaurant.

With many options at lunch from 16 Euros to 32 Euros, I chose the mid range 20 Euro ($23 USD) three course meal, a true bargain for the skill and ingredients, like this starter of fried zucchini blossom.

 The merlan, or whiting, was cooked perfectly with a crisp skin and moist tender flesh.

The portions were so generous I opted for the café gourmand for dessert which came with tiny portions of their desserts of creme brulée and a berry cream crumble with a sesame crisp. Everything was done well and the ingredients were fresh and well sourced, so the complimentary reviews I read were well founded. It was very “correct” as the French say, meaning the service, atmosphere, and food were worth the price.

My local host told me his number one choice for a place to eat in Marseille was The Rowing Club, a local secret. On my first day I looked for the address but I couldn’t find it, so after verifying the location with my host I finally found it on my last night 🙂 This was the view from my table.

 As the sun set, the view changed, but was still beautiful.

I was so full from lunch, I ordered two appetizers, the first was supions, or baby squid, for 16 Euros or about $18 USD, perfectly grilled with garlic and served with a wedge of lemon, this was so tender and perfectly seasoned that I could have eaten two of these for my meal.

I was happy I had ordered two appetizers instead of a main course when the gambas, or prawns, with two fried raviolis stuffed with crab came (18 Euros or about $21 USD). These may have been the best gambas I have ever eaten, grilled to perfection with succulent tails and heads full of juices which I sopped up with the fried ravioli. The combination of the two appetizers was plenty for dinner, but I saw some tables who ate appetizers, a main course, and dessert! A small glass of Chablis was 6.50 Euros or $8 USD which is expensive for France, but many people came just to drink at the bar and enjoy the view, so think of the price as a location charge:)

This is the only sign indicating where the restaurant bar is from the main road. It’s between the Sofitel hotel and the sailing school near the bus stop Saint Nicolas.

 As you walk or drive down the side road, you can see the restaurant on the roof of the building.

 There is a sign, but it’s inside the building

which also holds the club’s trophies and a gym.

  A great way to end the day and my stay in Marseille.