I got there early and received a warm welcome and a table for one (with no attitude attached). Ordering from the fixed-price lunch menu was easy, with only two choices for each course, priced at three for €22.
I was off to a brilliant start with a simple dish that showed how delicious and interesting vegetables can be when treated with a little creativity. It was a medley of beets in different colors, mingling mellow and sharp flavors (some were pickled), combined with mustard seeds and sitting on a bed of mild fromage blanc. A little arugula added greenery, crunch and more flavor.
My main course was confit shoulder of lamb, rich and moist, with homemade mushroom “ketchup.” On the side were what looked like communion hosts to this ex-Catholic, but were really extremely thinly sliced rounds of raw fresh mushrooms, which, together with raw leaves of brussels sprouts, created a delightful and unusual little salad.
For dessert, I chose the extremely fine chocolate ganache. It came in a generous helping, complemented by a cookie and a topping of crumble and chopped nuts.
The staff in the small, comfortable restaurant was prompt and friendly. Chef Marlo Snellman is an alumnus of Frenchie, a good recommendation if ever there was one. His lunch dishes were simple but not simplistic. They were well thought out, made with quality ingredients, tasted great, and were generous and satisfying.
Massale (the word refers to a crop’s best seeds, which are saved to be used the following year), has only been open two months but has already planted the seeds for success.