A slick oyster and cocktail bar in the 3rd arrondissement.
The sparky addition to rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth, Istr, was packed to the gills on our visit but we are quickly welcomed and seated. It’s trendy, neatly decorated and packed with chatting fashion designers. The beautiful zinc bar is a realy crowd-pleaser, seating fifteen comfortably.
Folowing the New York trend, it's a combo of oysters and cocktails; we start with half a dozen Spered no.3 for €2 each (€1 in happy hour, from 6-8pm) – served with soy sauce. But we couldn’t resist the special Istr no.3 (€3.50 each), served with raspberry vinegar and algae butter. These might be up there with the best we’ve ever tasted: firm yet velvety on the tongue. Perfect washed down with any of the cocktails, such as the super refreshing Elizabeth Bay – a melange of gin, green chartreuse, lemon, cucumber, mint and egg white.
Starters are tapas-style sharing bites: think haddock rillettes, buckwheat chips, mini Breton sausage galettes (to die for), tempura oysters and tzatziki sauce. It’s all light fare so we finish with scallops, creamed Jerusalem artichokes and butter, plus a shellfish, coconut milk and tsuyu (a combination of dashi, mirin and soy sauce) stew. Although it’s not cheap – mains start from €17 – we’ll certainly be back for a special occasion.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE
41 rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth
|Price:||Cocktails €13, dishes €17-30, oysters €1-5 each|