The seafood sibling of a well-loved institution has some pleasing points but is yet to find its sea legs.
Younger seafood sibling of the much-lauded Le Verre Volé, Le Verre Volé sur Mer is found just down the road on the Rue de Lancry, very much part of the same buzzing Canal Saint-Martin catchment area. The vibe of the tiny space is a little quirkier than the original, with colourful tiles, a communal table, a bar by the open kitchen and an underwater scene painted on the back wall.
Lunch and dinner differ significantly here, with a different team in the kitchen and a different menu. From 1pm, Asian-style bentos and small plates are served, priced from €3 to €14 – all light, bright an fresh, things like spring rolls, miso soup and Chinese cabbage salad. Unlike the original Verre Volé, the wine takes a back seat here, with just one daily choice of white or red – but they’re carefully chosen to match the dishes, and we were pleasantly surprised by an oak-free Anjou du Domaine Mosse (€5.50) with tempura cod, salmon and potatoes. Service is uniformly excellent and a cheerful atmosphere reigns.
However, the evening experience was significantly patchier, though the wine list is extended and natural vintages are particularly strong. Jumbo winkles and Brittany sea snails with a moreish aïoli more than delivered, but grey shrimps were tasteless and the acidity of lemon and vinegar swamped a mackerel ceviche. Dessert improved things with a lovely white chocolate and hazelnut panna cotta, but Le Verre Volé sur Mer still has some work to do to justify its prices, and to live up to its sibling’s well-deserved reputation.
|Venue name:||Le Verre Volé sur Mer|
53 rue de Lancry
|Opening hours:||Daily 12noon-2pm, 7.30pm-11pm|
|Transport:||Metro: Jacques Bonsergent|