It would be easy to walk straight past the latest venture from the team behind Candelaria and Le Glass – with its nondescript front door and simple neon sign, the Mary Céleste oyster bar looks more like a neighbourhood pizzeria than the newest, hippest destination in the Marais. But we like this lack of pretension, and the big bay windows that will remain steamed up throughout winter promise great things for pavement apéros in summer. Around a bustling central bar are ranged a few stools, tables and chairs occupied by the inevitable well-dressed clientele, drawn by the hype and by the oysters that are the hook du jour – oyster happy hour runs from 5pm-7pm with Marennes-Oléron, Bouzigue and Belon varieties at €1 a throw (usually €1.50) washed down with one of the white wines from the great list at €5 a glass.
If you want to check it out but aren’t in the market for shellfish, the cocktails, beers and wine lists are intelligent if not cheap, and there are some interesting snacks and sharing plates. DJs spin in one corner and the atmosphere is genial even during peak times: all in all, a lively but relaxed venue serving excellent drinks, oysters and more.