Bar de la Relève, Marseille France

Bar de la Relève is located just 5 or 6 blocks from the Vieux Port but the steep hill climb that connects the two keeps the neighborhood a bit sheltered from the crush of tourists (by the way, stop at the medieval Abbaye de St.-Victor for a quick look as you pass…the crypt is a jaw-dropper!).  A sort of bar/cafe/tapas bar a la Marseillais, Bar de la Relève was started by a group of copains who had already made there mark on the local food landscape ( Edouard of the Bistrot d’Édouard, Arnaud from the Cafe des Epice, Hugo from Le Cave de Baille and Gregoire, locally famous for organizing food-centric “happenings and soirees”) but who longed for a friendly place  to meet friends, raise a good glass of wine and have a bite.

They found the perfect location in an ancient and long abandoned café du quartier, that had, in its day, been a favored haunt for taxi drivers.  After an extensive and charming renovation, Bar de la Relève was born.  On any given night the front room is thick with neighborhood habitues crowding around the bar and spilling out onto the sidewalk, engaging in animated discussions between glasses of wine. Don’t worry, speak to the kind gentleman watching over the door, get on the list for a table and then wade right into the crowd.  The people of Marseille have a well deserved reputation for friendliness.

Once at table (or on any tiny scrap of bar you may happen to conquer), the menu is full of small plates that work as a snack or can be strung together for a meal.  On one night:  panisse, a sort of Provencal fritter made from chickpea flour, fried and simply served with sea salt and a lemon wedge;  squid hoods stuffed with green chard and braised in pastis, tomato and white wine;  filets of lieu jaune breaded a l’anglais served with sauce tartar; a robust country pâté;   and a lovely salad of roasted winter vegetables.

Côté vin, a well selected list featuring natural and organic wines, most by the glass.  What else could you need?

Bar de la Relève
Address:  41, Rue d’Endoume, 13007 Marseille, France
Tel: 04 95 09 87 81
Reservations:  Not accepted, come early or just push up to the bar until a table in the small dining room opens up.  Pleasant terrace for warm days or nights.

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August 2017 Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse

Nice flag


The roof work is almost done!
Help us celebrate
and see the back room improvements!

With all the renovation work at Cafe Presse, it has seemed like a very long summer.  So we are marking the completion (almost!) of work with a Quarterly Chef’s Dinner!  Chef Jim Drohman has designed a menu  inspired by the city of Nice and featuring the bountiful vegetables, fruits and seafood of late summer…and believe it or not,

What:    5-course family-style dinner  inspired by the cuisine of Nice
When:   Tuesday August 29, 2017, 6:30pm sharp
Where:  The back room at Café Presse
Cost:      Dinner including  beverage* $80
*your choice of paired wines or non-alcoholic beverages

Visit our website for complete menu
Reservations by telephone only at 206.709.7674
For this special event, NO SUBSTITUTIONS PLEASE

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Menu for August Chef’s Dinner at Cafe Presse

Please help us celebrate

La Fin de Chantier!

Tuesday August 29, 2017


Les hors d’œuvres
Tartare of beets with capers, tarragon, mustard and pistachios on toasted baguette
Bleu cheese-sweet corn-thyme beignets

Sardines farcies à la niçoise
Pacific sardines stuffed with green chard and ricotta cheese, topped with bread crumbs and oven roasted

Salade aux tomates et aux nectarines, croustade à la tapenade
Salad of local tomatoes and nectarines, melon and Walla Walla onions, with lemon-summer savory vinaigrette and baked tapenade-chèvre turnover

Petits farcis aux courgettes et son pistou
Summer squashes stuffed with brown rice, caramelized onions, garlic, pine nuts, sultanas and spinach, with parsley-arugula pistou

Tarte au citron et ses myrtilles au basilic
Lemon custard baked in sweet pastry with soft meringue, with blueberries and chiffonade of basil

Dinner including beverage* $80
*paired wines or non-alcoholic beverage

For this special event, No Substitutions Please.
Reservations by phone only at 206.709.7674

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Summer menu 2017 begins at Café Presse

Salad of beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, parsley, roasted garlic vinaigrette and a hard cooked egg.

Salad of beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, parsley, roasted garlic vinaigrette and a hard cooked egg.

The summer menu for 2017 at Cafe Presse was rolled out today by chef de cuisine James O’Hern.  Here are some photos from the traditional all-staff tasting to get you in the summer mood!  Check out our menu full menu here.

Duck rillettes served wtih red wine poached figs, grain mustard and cornichons

Duck rillettes served wtih red wine poached figs, grain mustard and cornichons

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Now on the menu at Le Pichet, June 2017

Ribs 2 June 2017

Slow roasted pork ribs, salad of red oak leaf lettuce, corona beans, shaved fennel, bing cherries and roasted fennel purée

Check out the new dishes that Le Pichet chef de cuisine Dave Cooper has recently added to the menu for early summer!

Tripe june 2017

Crispy semolina fried beef tripe served on a ragout of artichokes, escarole, garlic and white wine.

heart june 2017

Smoked pork heart, thinly sliced and served on butter lettuce with sauce gribiche.


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It’s Columbia River crayfish season

Crayfish June 2017

The Columbia River crayfish season has started and we have them at Café Presse!

This freshwater delicacy is usually more closely associated with the bayous of Louisiana than with the Pacific Northwest, and the Colombia river  season is short.  But the cold waters of the Columbia yield up crayfish that are particularly sweet, firm and fresh tasting.

Today at Café Presse, we are offering them in a simple and traditional French:  poached in a court bouillon, then served cold as an appetizer with lemon-tarragon mayonnaise.

Available while the supply lasts.

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Too hot to cook?



When the thermometer is topping 90 degrees, its way to hot to cook!  Instead of turning on the oven,why not let us do the cooking?  Most of the items on our menu are available to take home including our famous roasted to your order Poulet Roti.

Give us a call and we will have your bird ready when you arrive.  Choose with frites or plain, maybe even add a salad and a nice bottle of rosé to round out your meal.

Or even better, grab a table and enjoy our air conditioning!

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First of the season cherries

Special today at Café Presse

A classic Basque combination: sheep’s milk cheese, cherries and piment d’Espelette

Special today at Café Presse:

First of the season Burlat cherries, with Brebis de Pyrenees sheep’s milk cheese and piment d’Espelette grilled baguette slices.

The Burlat cherry is an early-ripening varietal similar to a Bing.  Maybe not quite as sweet as a bing but more fruity, firm and delicious.  These organic cherries came from todays Farmer’s Market on Broadway.

In the French Basque countries, sheep’s milk cheeses are traditionally served with cherry comfiture, sometimes enlivened with the kick of the famous Basque ground chili, piment d’Espelette.

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Faisselles a la confiture

Faisselles may 2017 3

Very simple and quick dessert: faisselles with home-made red muscat grape jam.

Fromage blanc a la confiture is one of the simplest desserts there is and to my mind one on the most satisfying.   The frequency with which one finds fancied up versions of Fromage blanc a la confiture on the menu at high end restaurants throughout France testifies to this dessert’s ability to evoke memories of childhood.  Its like chocolate pudding for us…you just never grow out of it.

Consisting simply of  fromage blanc served with seasonal jam, honey, or, in a pinch, with a spoonful of white sugar, the success of this dish is clearly dependent on the quality of the cheese and of the garnish.

On a recent visit to Lait P’tits Bearnais, an organic dairy outside Orthez,  a container of faisselles caught my eye.  Faisselles, like its cousin fromage blanc, is a simple, fresh cheese made by adding  bacteriologic culture to fresh milk, waiting for the milk to curdle then draining some of the whey.  Fromage blanc is often made using a mix of whole milk and cream, resulting in a higher fat content cheese that has a smoother, richer mouth feel.  Faisselles is usually made with just whole milk, resulting in a slightly curdier cheese that has a slight acidic bite.  Why not try using faisselles a la confiture?

As there is no AOC for faisselles (or for fromage blanc for that matter), the exact method for making it varies from dairy to dairy.  At “Les Petits Bearnais”, whole milk is used.  The fresh curds are scooped into perforated cups and sold while they are still draining. One arrives home with four cute little cheeses and half a cup of whey in the bottom of the container (I save the whey and add a little to dried beans or grains when soaking them before cooking.  The extra action of the live culture makes them more digestible).

Organic faisselles from le Ferme Lait P'tit Bearnais.

Organic faisselles from le Ferme Lait P’tits Bearnais.

Fresh cheeses in their mold or 'faisselle".

Fresh cheeses in their mold or ‘faisselle”.

Having secured some good cheese, all that’s left is to select your jam.  I picked one of the last jars of red muscat grape jam from a batch I made a few years back.  Doesn’t get much simpler than that.


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Café Presse 10th Anniversary Dinner

CP LOGO BWCan you believe that Café Presse is turning 10 years old? That’s right, we opened our doors to the public for the first time on June 20th, 2007.  To celebrate the occasion, our Chef’s Dinner this quarter will feature dishes from our very first menu.

What:   5-course family-style dinner
When:  Tuesday June 20, at 6:30pm sharp
Where: The back room at Café Presse
Cost:    Dinner including beverage* $70
*your choice of paired wines or non-alcoholic beverages

For reservations, please telephone at 206.709.7674


Les hors d’œuvres
Croque monsieur bites
Falafels with sauce blanche
Steak tartare on toasted baguette with tomato chutney

Plateau de charcuterie
Artisan and house-made charcuterie including jambon de Bayonne, gâteau de foie de volaille, rillettes de porc, saucisse a l’ail, langue de veau and saucissons sec.

Salade au chèvre chaud
Local arugula and curly endive, mustard vinaigrette, warm goat cheese croutons

Poulet rôti, pommes frites
Free range natural chicken roasted to order, served with pommes frites and grilled Washington State asparagus

Gâteau de riz « grand-mère » et ses frais de notre région
“Grandmother-style” caramelized rice cake served with fresh cream and Washington State strawberries.

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