Sète restaurant: L’Entonnoir
The market, Halles de Sète, is well worth a morning and lunch too, there are some excellent restaurants within. Recommended by Trish Deseine, who has a house nearby, we ate at L’entonnoir which offers fresh Mediterranean food with an Asian twist, cooked by a talented female chef (pictures below).
It looks like half of Sète goes there to drink, socialise and eat after shopping. This is a market that you dress up for, that you do your makeup for. It’s a market where you will be seen. People-watching yields good material.
Tièlles are seafood pies or empanadas. La maison Tianni Marcos, a stall in the market, has queues waiting for these spicy little pasties. Italian immigrants brought these to Sète at the end of the 19th century, the Italian influence can be seen in the olive oil pastry. Inside you have a thick octopus stew cooked in tomato, fennel and spices.
Soupe de poisson à la Sètoise and Bourride à la Sètoise: further east along the coast Marseilles has a famous fish soup, with croutons and a red sauce ‘rouille’ and this soup or thick stew (bourride) is quite similar.
Olives Setoises: I bought these green olives which were marinated in a creamy tomato and white wine sauce. Absolutely delicious. ‘A la Sètoise’ appears generally to mean cooked in tomato, saffron, provencale herbs, garlic and wine.
Zezette de Sète: a kind of sweet biscuit, flavoured with orange flower water
Here are some pictures I took in the market. I love the one of the guy who has travelled from his little vineyard that morning, selling home-grown wine from big plastic flagons. You bring along your plastic coke bottle and he will fill it with Vin de Pays.
Some of the stallholders still had their ‘Je suis Charlie’ posters on the wall. One guy, holding the cherries below, had a large portrait of Georges Brassens behind him.