Le Bar a Huitres – Paris
On the last day of our trip we were going to try a restaurant that had been featured on many travelogues and also reviewed on Essex Eatings great blog. It was right by the station so we could spend our last hour enjoying great french bistro food before plodding back to St Pancras. In the end we decided that we would have to lug our luggage with us so decided to eat somewhere before heading back to the station.
Paris has a fantatic bike hire system which we think is soon to be adopted by Boris in London. You use your credit card to subscribe to the scheme, then I think it something like 1 euro per hour. There are 400 racks where you can pick up or drop off the bike and after initial confusion with how to release a bike, we found the system easy to use. We had a fantastic time whizzing down boulevards and generally getting lost in neighbourhoods we hadn’t visited already.
Outside of Le Bar a Huitres we were immediately attracted to the display of seafood perched on a mountain of ice outside of the restaurant. We chained the bikes up to a handy railing nearby and headed inside past a large tank of lobsters. Mmm my menu choice was deciding itself for me.
We sat in a covered verandah and ordered a half bottle of Sancerre. We both took advantage of the blue lobster deal which offered 9 oysters, a whole lobster and a dessert for 45 euros which we thought was a pretty good deal. The oysters can come on ice or natural which appeared to be on a bed of seaweed. They came on ice and were plump and tasty.
The lobster quickly followed and came with rice and some sauteed vegetables. They tied bibs on us before we ate. I took a look around to see if anyone was sniggering. My paranoia told me that they only do this to foreigners. No one else was eating lobster so will never know. The lobster was dismembered using an array of implements that made the table look like a scene from the movie ‘Dead Ringers’ (google it). I enjoyed extracting as much protein as I could from the plump crustacean, though as always was disappointed by the golfball sized pile of meat I managed to harvest from each half of lobster. Sadly my biggest mouthful had a piece of shell in it so I spent a few minutes trying to decided the etiquette for its removal. After trying to seperate it for a while with my tongue I ended up choosing the worst option and spitting the whole lot into the cloth napkin. I placed it on the side but was dismayed when the waitress tried to relay it on my lap showering me with half chewed bits of lobster.
There was a great choice of desserts. Mine looked like madness on a plate but tasted delicious. Sorry about the photo. This is all still new to me so I took a bite before remembering to take a snap. It was Pistachio Financiers Cake with mango sorbet, Brandy snap basket with creme patisserie. I thought it was delicious in a retro sort of way.
The meal left us satisfied without being full which was great as we were heading back to the hotel before heading to the Eurostar. I would definately recommend eating here if you get the chance. Just dispose of your lobster more discretely than me!