On rue Jacques Cartier, just up from the Grande Porte entrance to Intra Muros, is one long line of restaurants, mostly with similar seafood menus and prices. The biggest decision was where, not what, to eat.
The night was cold, rainy, and windy, so this restaurant’s heated terrace chauffee covered with a clear tarp was too good to resist. The décor was simple and welcoming – two-tone blue and white with fresh flowers and quirky fish-patterned china. As well as á la carte, they offered a prix-fixe menu, which was a budget traveler’s dream. I had a three-course meal for €12.50, the same price as some of their entrées.
The appetizer was an easy choice, Moules Moulienere, mussels steamed in a white wine and garlic sauce, but appetizer size it wasn’t – there must have been four to five dozen mussels. It would have quite easily fed two or three, especially with the slices of fresh bread to sop up all the flavourful broth. My server, a very pleasant young woman, smiled smugly as I apologized for not finishing the mussels – "This happens all the time," she said.
My main course was equally delicious - escalope de poulet (chicken breast) in a brandy cream sauce, covered with sautéed mushrooms and served with a choice of rice, mashed potatoes, or frites and a small green salad.
I really like the French style of eating – nothing is rushed and dining becomes the highlight of the evening. As I savoured my meal and a glass of wine, I watched some of the other meals come out of the kitchen. One family shared a seafood platter that was close to a foot high, piled with crabs, giant prawns, oysters, wilkes, snails, mussels, and more. It was definitely a bounty from the sea.
Well, by now I was full, BUT how could I resist the dessert menu?? Chocolate mousse, apple tarte, prune cake, fresh fruit, and, my choice, crème caramel. I had to loosen my belt a bit, but this wonderfully light, smooth custard topped with delicate caramel sauce was worth it. Oh dear, isn’t gluttony one of original sins? Luckily I had a long walk back to my hotel and a glass of Calvados to top off the night.
The restaurant is open daily from 7pm. Note that the restrooms are up one flight of steep steps, which could be a problem for those with mobility issues.