The French are crazy about oysters (huitres). From a no-frills oyster bar to high-end chic, the restaurants around the country really know how to shuck, and serve these tasty bivalves. All the outdoor markets (that we’ve ever seen, anyway) have oysters, as do the fish shops, especially in the oyster season when they offer many different types and sizes of these delicious mollusks. Paris is no exception.
A good place to start is L’ Écume St-Honoré. This casual place, a poissonnerie-bar à huitres, near Place St-Honoré is deceptive—it’s casual but its offerings are superb and their prices are good.
We were staying at an apartment on Rue St-Honoré, so could just walk a couple of blocks, past St Roche Church. The first night of that visit in Paris we just walked past this fish shop/oyster bar but noted that it was bustling and decided to return another evening.
Now, it’s strange (to some people) but I do not like raw oysters. Cooked are great, but not raw. But my husband and daughter love them, so I’m happy to be part of the tasting experience and watch them loving it. I try to get some sort of cooked oysters when possible, but some oyster bars draw the line at cooking. L’Ecume is one of those, so I tried something new to me—bulots, which are cooked sea snails. They look and taste a bit like other snails. They were part of the menu, so the staff at L’Ecume were quite happy for me to have these. The bulots came atop a dense bed of seaweed on a green plate, served with a mayonnaise sauce. Rod had a selection of 6 oysters and said they were great. His oysters also arrived on a bed of seaweed on a green plate, with various condiments and artisanal brown bread.
L’ Écume is not a big fancy place, which for us is preferable to something too expensive/snobby. You walk past the fresh seafood counters and the long tasting bar into the restaurant section, with a few high wooden tables with fun fish and sea motifs in the decorations. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, the staff very helpful. We can’t wait to return, hopefully next year sometime, and this time for a full meal, perhaps.
email@example.com (for orders and reservations)
Hours: Tues-Wed-Thurs, Sales 9:30am-8pm, Tasting 11am-7pm
Fri-Sat, Sales 9:30am-10pm, Tasting 11am-10pm