Oyster Season in Paris

It’s time to shell out: the best bivalves in Paris are available between November and April, so here’s a line-up of the city's best seafood joints… Aw, shucks!

Istr attracts a fashionable crowd, lured here by the promise of oysters and cocktails, plus the abundant eye-candy, including a striking zinc bar and pastel-pretty chairs. Order a platter of your favourite oysters, served with soy sauce, raspberry vinegar or algae butter, perhaps. (facebook.com/istrparis

Like its eponymous clam and tomato juice concoction, trendy oyster and seafood bar Clamato is a mix of contrasting elements that go together like fish and chips. Decor is raw and minimal; the daily-changing menu is executed with the finesse one would expect from chef Bertrand Grébaut (also behind sister restaurant Septime). The crab cakes served with spicy Huancaína sauce were worth writing home about. Don’t bypass the standout oyster Bloody Mary and the solid selection of organic and biodynamic European wines. (80 rue de Charonne, 11th. +33 1 43 72 74 53, no res)

Fish Club is the Beef Club's bi-level, seafaring neighbour. It delivers succulent small plates that pack a piquant punch, from baby octopus brochettes and lobster sandwiches to 'mixte chaud' ceviche and of course killer cocktails. (eccfishclub.com)

Fuss-free fishmonger L’Huitrier serves up still-twitching platters of chilled oysters, surf-fresh calamari, and perfectly prepped cod and sole. Slurp it all up with a deliriously crisp Chassagne-Montrachet. (huitrier.fr)

The big question is: do you want your oysters to go, or do you want to eat them right there and then, in Huîtrerie Régis’ blue-and-white dining room? (We’d plump for the latter.) These beautiful bivalves are sourced from the Marenne-Oleron; try the Fine de Claires, the Speciales de Claires, clams and prawns – washed down with at least one bottle of Sancerre. We can’t think of a better way to while away afternoons in St Germain... (huitrier.fr)

Parisian trendoids can’t get enough of Le Mary Celeste’s surf-fresh bivalves and daily-changing menu. Many a table within the maritime-inflected nook of rope-wrapped pillars and rough wooden surfaces is dotted with trays of shucked shells, including Kumamoto oysters from Britain and Normandy-sourced European flats. Non-oyster options include seasonal share plates such as veal ragout polenta or whole lobster in ginger-and-shrimp sauce. Magnifique! (lemaryceleste.com)

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Chloe Jessica Payne

After spells spent in Mexico, Madrid, Lyon, São Paulo and Hong Kong, Chloe now lives in London with her husband and two muddy mongrels and is currently planning trips to Bruges, Paris, Alaska, SoCal, Romania and Reykjavik. 

  • Chloe LOVES... Baking, old movies, Graham Greene novels
  • Chloe LOATHES... 4x4’s in London, visor-toting tourists, airport queuing 

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