The quality of the seafood in Parisian restaurants is excellent – the capital’s supplied daily by Atlantic and Mediterranean ports – but it’s expensive. That’s one reason why Paris restaurateur Frédéric Hubig’s new fish house in Les Halles has been packed since it opened this past spring.
A relaxed seafood bistro, it serves an impeccable catch of the day at reasonable prices, and with a décor that’s a Gallic riff on New England’s famous sea-shack restaurants, it’s a lively place with friendly service and an able and inventive kitchen. The success of this new table doesn’t come as a surprise either, since Hubig runs one of the best little families of restaurants in Paris, including the excellent bistro Astier; Sassotondo, an Italian table, and Jeanne A – all in the 11th arrondissement – and Jeanne B in Montmartre. He’s a real hands-on restaurateur, too, one who takes an evident pleasure in chatting with guests at his tables and a real pride in the quality of the food served.
“Parisians love fish more than ever,” says Hubig, “so the idea here was to offer a variety of interesting dishes that range from classics like quenelles de brochet [pike perch dumplings with a lush pink lobster sauce] to contemporary dishes like the croque homard [an open-faced lobster sandwich on brioche bread].”
The menu here changes often, depending on the catch of the day and what inspires the team in the open kitchen. Other great dishes sampled during a recent dinner included deep-fried whitebait with aioli; sea-bass-and-oyster tartare, and marinated cockles – all starters – and grilled maigre (croaker, a firm white fish from south-western France) fillet with fennel seeds and mashed potatoes garnished with a sauce vierge (chopped tomatoes and basil in olive oil), plus a mixed fish plate with a bouillabaisse-like sauce. There’s a great selection of wines by the glass, and they also serve at the bar, which is handy if you’re dining on your own.
La Marée Jeanne, 3 rue Mandar, 75002 Paris +33 1 42 61 58 34 Dinner-only. Average meal €35.
Based in Paris, restaurant columnist Alexander Lobrano has published a new book, Hungry for France, along with a new edition of his popular Hungry for Paris. Find these books and more in our bookstore.
From France Today magazine