Thursday, April 29, 2010

pure perfection

The nights feel like summer.  Forget April in Paris.  We walk to the four corners of St. Germain de Pres. It's late, just starting to darken.  There's Cafe Flore and Les Deux Magot.  Just down a side street  from Leon Bruxelles is a little sliver of restaurant called Huiterie Regis.  It is perfect.  I'm proud to say we found it a few years ago exactly two weeks before the review appeared in The New York Times.  Twelve seats inside.  Six out.  Freshly white-washed walls.  Pearl gray lacquered rush-seated chairs.  And oysters.  Only oysters.  (They do offer a plate of cured meats, just in case...).  Fin de Claires.  Marennes.  Les Pouces.  Les Belons.  In the Marennes d'Oleron, an expanse of salt flats, they harvest these beautiful shell fish known for their green tint, somehow colored naturally this way because the algae they grow in is blue.  Something I imagine akin to the Green Flash at sunset.  This special algae, particular to this area in the north of France, gives them their particular flavor.  If the flats were on land, I'd use the word terroir.   Can I say marine?

We dine on a dozen each.  Six Fins de Claires and six Les Speciales. It is now a cliche, but they do, in fact, taste like the sea.  We have two glasses of slate-like and bright Sancerre, bread and butter.  We share a third glass.  Two of the owners, both men tonight, work the floor and open these fruits of the sea.  We hear voices cheering next door, really a roar.  A soccer game is on. We finish with an apple tart and two coffees.  Sublime.

I've worn my highest heels because it's Paris and it's dinner out.  I change into new tennis shoes on a dark side-street, so we can walk care-free the rest of the way home.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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