Les Pinces

Surf and Turf the French Way

February 16, 2015By Heidi EllisonRestaurants

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Diners tuck eagerly into their lobsters.

This will be a short review, but not as short as the menu at Les Pinces, a new restaurant in the Marais where you can order only three things: a whole lobster, a lobster roll or a côte de bœuf (prime rib), each one priced at €25.

When I ate there with two friends recently, all three of us had our hearts set on lobster, so unfortunately I cannot report on the côte de bœuf. Judging by the quality of everything else we ate at Les Pinces, I am sure it is excellent, although I didn’t even see anyone eating it.

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Concept stores and restaurants are the in thing in Paris right now, and this is a great concept. How could it go wrong when each person gets a whole lobster, plucked from the tank in the basement, cooked just right and served with a delicious lemon-butter sauce and tasty, crispy matchstick fries? Pure pleasure, and so satisfying to have one’s fill of lobster instead of feeling slightly cheated by a stingy yet expensive serving, as often happens in other restaurants.

The lobsters are flown in from Brittany, the United States or Canada. Ours was Canadian. The côte de bœuf is free-range Irish beef.

As my friend Lisa pointed out, there was something very American about the feel of this bustling place, but there’s nothing wrong with that when great food and friendly, prompt service are being provided, with absolutely none of that annoying “Hi, I’m Laurent. I’ll be your garçon tonight. Let me read you les plats du jour.”

For dessert we ordered two of the three house-made desserts on offer: a lovely cheesecake and a creamy mousse au chocolat. To my taste, the latter would have been better with a higher chocolate content, but that’s a quibble.

Warning: this is yet another place that doesn’t take reservations, so get there early if you don’t fancy a long wait. There was still quite a crowd queuing up when we left around the 9:30 the other night.

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