With its beautiful old model sailing boats, lobsters, shells and bottles of sand everywhere, l’Ecailler du Bistrot feels a little like a fishing boat during the calm after the storm.
Decide between, for example, incredible platters of fruits de mer, oyster selections or the lobster set menu – 12 oysters and a half lobster with fries and pudding. Aside from shellfish, there are also things like scallop carpaccio, turbot and sole meunière – but most people will plump for a gargauntuan plate of crustaceans, washed down with an excellent bottle of Cheverny blanc (€20).
The glorious ritual of cracking, hulling, shelling and excavating takes you through winkles, whelks, clams, grey shrimp, cockles, belon oysters, hard and soft-shell crabs and pink shrimps, all beautifully presented and fresh. It’s generous and reasonably priced for Parisians used to paying silly money for shellfish (€76 for two), and everything that comes with it works as well – bread, butter and mayonnaise from attentive but not overweening service.
After the battle, wash your hands in lemon and hot water and head for the excellent desserts – roasted figs, baked apples with salted caramel. You'll leave happily humming Molly Malone.
This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.