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Le Passage, Aix-en-Provence

10 Rue Villars
France 13100
Tel: 33 4 42 37 09 00's insider take:

In a former candy factory is a mini village (there's also a cooking school, a wine shop, and an épicerie) offering Aix some overdue modern cuisine. Reine Sammut, one of the top female chefs in France, started the restaurant. She moved on in 2005, but her former chef de cuisine, Franck Dumont, is at the helm of this fashionably playful kitchen. Enjoy "gravlax" of beef with hand-cut fries and wasabi mayonnaise, or dorade à la plancha—medium-edgy dishes that match the branché Tribeca loft decor of exposed aluminum pipes, tall red banquettes, and white chairs against dark slate walls and floors. Some say it's an overpriced pose with patchy service, but all of Aix seems to be coming anyway.

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