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Nov 2, 2011 02:35 PM

Paris - good, inexpensive seafood restaurant

I'm looking for a good seafood restaurant (or any restaurant with a decent amount of fish on the menu) with a budget of 40 euros per person (entree + plat). It's for a romantic dinner so ambiance is also key.

I've read through all the related posts, and come up with 'C'est mon plaisir' and 'Fish e boissonerie' (leaning towards this one).

La coupole looked interesting but after viewing some photos I was reminded of a meal at 'Brasserie Georges' in Lyon - delicious food but it felt like eating in a cafeteria! (correct me if I'm wrong).

Any thoughts would be appreciated. If anyone knows how far in advance to reserve any of the above, would also be appreciated.

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    1. Despite its name -- Fish La Boissonerie, it's not a "seafood restaurant". Also, despite its relationship to the excellent La Derniere Goutte nearby, which is an excellent wine store, Fish is not all that excellent. Also, it's not romantic. In Paris, I have found the best fish preparations at non-exclusively fish restaurants. For example, the Fish at Septime is impeccable, although this may stretch your budget a bit. As in all cities, really good fish is expensive.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Nancy S.

        I agree on all counts...Fish is neither a seafood specialist nor romantic nor particularly good...imo, its success comes from its easy appeal to tourists who are attracted to its English name and comforted by its Anglophone staff

        1. re: Simon

          I will defend "Fish". Definitely not a fish restaurant and definitely not romantic. But that said a good wine bar, and a relaxed easy dining option when one wants that style of food. I can't understand the comment on Dernier Goutte as Fish sells the pretty much the same wines as the shop (joint owners) and often has a very interesting selection by the glass.

          To me it is part of the fabric of "real" Paris rather than "museum" Paris, it is a place as much for tourists as locals and the mix really changes later in the evening - quite left bank boho.. I haven't eaten there since the change of chef. Any reports?

          1. re: PhilD

            The Derniere Goutte comment was intended to mean that the wine shop is a superior wine shop but Fish is not a superior restaurant (even though its wine list is excellent).

            1. re: Nancy S.

              Agree, but isn't Fish primarily a wine bar which serves food rather than a restaurant as such? I was only trying to put it in context - your phrasing "not that excellent" doesn't differentiate.. True it isn't on my eating list but I will probably pop in for a glass of wine if in the area

              1. re: PhilD

                Hmm. I think of it more as a restaurant than a wine bar, compared to, for example, Jeanne A. or Aux Deux Amis. I would put Fish more in the category of Saturne, a restaurant with interesting wine.

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  " would put Fish more in the category of Saturne, a restaurant with interesting wine."
                  But the food at Saturne is much, much better.

                  1. re: Nancy S.

                    I definitely drank there more than I ate there but I suppose it was my local - my take is that the locals treat it as a bar. But these places do morph over time - it will be interesting to see how it changes when Fish opens its dedicated wine bar opposite.

        2. Before Fables de la Fontaines opened my fall back, less expensive seafood restaurant, open on Sundays was Le Bistro du Dome on Rue Delambre. Since Fables got a Michelin macaron and the subsequent price escalation I am considering going back. Has anyone been lately?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Laidback

            I went this fall. It was quite good -- but I don't long to go back. Recipes were very pleasant, very well executed, a tad complex if you like to focus on pristine seafood. More of a seafood cuisine than seafood place. Not cheap indeed, but I don't think you can get good cheap seafood in this town.

            In fact, I would steer anyone away from any place offering cheap seafood in Paris. The reason is that the French fish market has many intermediaries (and high labor costs), resulting in expensive seafood, often not as fresh as you'd like.

            La Cagouille may indeed be the best compromise. It's still very far from cheap. Luckily.

          2. If I were looking for a romantic dinner featuring seafood in your price range, I would also consider Maceo. Not a seafood restaurant, nonetheless they serve delicious fish dishes and they meet all your other criteria.

            1. hi, why don't you try this place it's called 'la cagouille', its the nickname from my region in south west france for 'snails', do not be scared off, i hate snails,!it's just the name, been there and dishes, fish, sea food are fairly good for a reasonable price,(30-40 euros per head).la cagouille is conveniently located in a quiet area not far from Montparnasse, 10 place constantin brancousi.give it a try!

              3 Replies
              1. re: trishkirsten

                For what it's worth, i also heard today good things from a friend whose opinion i consider, and returned from the city after eating also at both Le Cagouille and a bit more upscale place on the same street called Le Ostreade, he said that he liked both a lot.

                1. re: oferl

                  I am going to hide behind a giant shield like the CRS guys do and quietly suggest the New Nioulaville in the 11th. Granted the preparations are Chinese, not French. But the fish swim live in the tanks so you get really fresh fish.

                  he chefs there appear to know how to prepare fish well, although I admit my experience is limited. Mostly I go for the dim sum and dumplng soups, which are excellent and cheap. The fresh fish are not cheap, but were within your budget last time I looked.

                  1. re: oferl

                    thanks for the tip, i ll try l ostreade next time...