Sunday, December 19, 2010

La Marée (Paris, France)

One of the hardest tables to get for Sunday lunch in Paris is at La Marée. Our friends reserved a table several days in advance. La Marée is a highly regarded & well known seafood establishment in Paris; hence the restaurant is named for the tide.

It used to be so so so expensive (according to my friends) but thank goodness for us; they have lowered their prices but maintained the quality. The bigger deal is the lunch menu. You can either choose from the 29 euros menu (choice 1 starter/ 1 main or 1 main/ 1 dessert) or you can choose the 34 euros menu (1 starter/ 1 main/ 1 dessert). We all chose the 29 euros menu.

The dinning room decor is old world charm; the restaurant decorated like a little Tudor inn with leaded & stained windows, traditional upholstery on the comfy banquettes, 17th century Flemish tapestries, and an high-end old-fashioned elegance that never goes out of style. Very elegant and posh.

Even the customers are very elegant and chic. There is an air of money for some reason. The room has a hush tone since the customers are conversing quietly. This for sure is no McDonalds. Every man is in a Sunday jacket and every woman is looking proper and beautiful. I can imagine how the old days were when people still cared about how they looked when they went out on Sundays. For sure; not sports track suits and Nike jogging shoes like today's generation.

There were six of us for this lunch and I am posting all the food that my friends & I had. Of course, I tasted all of them so that I would be fair in my assessment of the food. My friends were not happy since they could not eat until I tasted and took a photo of the food. But, they are used to me by now.

The first starter was Bisque de homard. One of my favourite soups; this lobster bisque was rich in flavour and creamy in texture. A very nice way to start a meal in winter.

The second starter was Coques à la arnière de coriandre. The clams were so sweet & fresh. The simplicity of this dish; clams cooked in white wine, butter and its own juices, is what made it so so good.

The third starter was Encornets (two of my friends had this starter). The octopus rings were so fresh that it was not even chewy. The texture was perfect and the taste was amazing. They were fried until a light golden colour and the flavour burst through. Very nice indeed.

The fourth starter was Marmite de coquillages aux poireaux et safran, sous sa croute dorée. The dish arrived looking like a pot pie. My friend opened the pastry covering the bowl and...voila! The lovely creamed shelled fish in the bowl. The sauce was thick & creamy. The dish was lovely..

The fifth starter was Soupe de potiron avec gnocchi. The pumpkin soup was rich in flavour and creamy in texture. The gnocchis added extra extra texture but nothing else. A nice winter soup.

The house specialty is the Bouillabaisse La Marée. Every one in town knows to come here on Sunday for this amazing dish (five of us had this dish). The broth was rich & thick. The seafood was fresh, firm and cooked perfectly. It tasted heavenly and was hearty for a winters day.

One of my friends decided to be different and had the Quennelles de brochet. This lovely dish is made from ground pike fish, eggs, butter and cream and is in a lobster bisque. A rich and filling dish.

After lunch; we decided to do some Christmas shopping. Here are some beautiful scenes of white Paris on our way to our favourite shopping area. This is a very lovely & unique scene indeed. This was the Grand Palais des Beaux-Arts with Le pont Alexandre-III in front.

Les Invalides now can be called the White Les Invalides.

Overall: this lunch was amazing. The atmosphere was even though in a glamorous place was actually easy going & comfortable. The service is impeccable & friendly. The food was outstandingly fresh & yummy. AND of course; who can beat the 29 euros menu? The quality & price ratio is a rare treat in Paris. Another great aspect of this restaurant (I am biased here), is that it is walking distance from our place. We will definately reserve my Sundays for La Marée.

258 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Angle avec le 1 rue Daru,
75008 Paris
Tel.: 01 43 80 20 00

No comments: