If you are craving something fishy but don’t feel like dropping a fortune on a pricey seafood restaurant, hurry to Les Moussaillons, a small oyster bar that goes against the tide of most Paris restaurants, which typically offer one or two fish choices amid a plethora of meat dishes (although that is rapidly changing). Les Moussaillons has almost nothing but fish, with only one meaty option (a plate of charcuterie).
It also has some really appealing deals: six oysters, a choice of two fishy accompaniments and a glass of wine for €19.50 (great for lunch; this is the option we chose), six fines de claire oysters and a glass of wine for €13.50, or the “Happy Oyster” (6pm-8pm only), with three oysters and a glass of wine for €8.
For my accompaniments, I chose the tarama
with sea urchin roe, which I loved, especially when I ate it with the black squid-ink bread, and the mackerel rillettes, which I found a bit lacking in flavor compared to others I have tasted, even though it was quite peppery. For the oysters, I had three fines de claire – light,
briny and refreshing – and three Bretonnes from Quiberon, which were fleshier without being overly fleshy (I’m not fond of the really plump ones).
My friend chose the bulots (sea snails) and
shrimp along with his fines de claire oysters. He thought the bulots were not as good as the ones he steams at home in white wine, but I found them blessedly sand-free and better than the ones I get from my fishmonger. The shrimp, a generous serving of six big fat ones,
were fine and stunningly fresh.
Dessert was a shared house-made financier (almond cake) flavored with orange blossom, which also came in a large serving. It was
delicious but just a teensy bit drier than I would have liked.
The service was extremely amiable, the atmosphere convivial, the decor appealing and the “Blue” Sauvignon from the Cellier des Chartreux delectable. There is definitely something fishy going on here, in the best sense of the word.