“FRESHEST SEAFOOD IN TOWN!”

La Mascotte delivered!

Our first day in Paris, we checked in with our AirBnB host in Montmartre.  This being our first AirBnB experience, we weren’t sure what to expect, but boy did it exceed expectations!


First of all, our AirBnB apartment turned out to be in an amazing location!  We lucked out with this cute little studio apartment on the third floor of an old building overlooking a cute neighborhood with cafe’s and patisseries within a block.  The original La Moulin Rouge was a short stroll away, and the stunning Sacre Coeur was just a quick 15-minute uphill hike…perfect for building up an appetite!  It was a site definitely worth visiting, simply for the incredible view you get of all of Paris.   This is also where a local salesman talked us into becoming the very proud owners of our very first well-bargained-for ‎€7 selfie-stick.

Unfortunately, this selfie stick was short-lived… not because it broke (as we were expecting it to), but because it was stolen in Florence, thanks to Simon’s pompous ass… More on that in another post)….

Second, our host, Frederique, turned out to work with the France Department of Tourism. How amazing is that?!  We definitely lucked out at the start of our trip because Frederique was kind enough to provide us with numerous wonderful recommendations, not only for our stay in Paris, but for our epic EuroFoodTour through France, into Italy, and back through France.  It turned out to be the perfect start to our Journey of the Unknown.  I call it the unknown only because we planned nothing for this trip.  And when I say nothing, I mean nothing — all we had booked for this trip was 1) our flights London-Paris-London, 2) our rental car Paris-to-Paris, and 3) our first night stay.

Frederique provided recommendations for restaurants, dessert heavens, cheese heavens, wineries, travel routes, as well as travel Do’s-and-Don’t’s.  (Because we didn’t get to them all, her list of recommendations will be posted soon for you to check out yourself — please let us know your thoughts if you check them out).  For now, I’m dedicating this post to her first restaurant recommendation, La Mascotte a Montmartre.

La Mascotte is this cute little neighborhood brasserie on Rue des Abbesses that, according to Frederique, was serving up some of the freshest seafood in town.  Highly recommended, this place delivered!

Service, Ambiance and Crowd:

To begin, the service was wonderful.  We were greeted by a pleasant waiter who was very accommodating, and provided us with menus in both French and English.  The weather was also very pleasant, so we opted for a cute sidewalk two-top, from where we were able to people-watch. The service throughout our meal was excellent!  The recommendations on the wine and oysters were great, and our server was extremely accommodating to our last minute order change.  He even brought “Larry the Lobster” out to our table before Larry met the boiling pot!

The ambiance was great!  As cliche as it may be, there was an accordionist across the street (not affiliated with the restaurant), which definitely added charm to the experience.
The crowd was promising.  The diners around us were not very touristy, which made us realize we were in good hands.  The crowd was a general mix of young locals and older sophisticated parissienes, and everyone was drinking, eating, and enjoying their company.  Although most diners were not playing on phones or uploading photographs for their instagrams, which was a nice change from the usual one sees around the City of Angels, I was surprised at how many were smoking with their meals.  We may have been the odd ones out without a smoke in our hands.  Surprisingly though, the smoke was not as disturbing as I imagined it to be.  (Don’t worry… I’m not taking up smoking….yet….)

The Meal

The Oysters:

These 6 beautiful gems were from Brittany and Les Fines de Cancale, which is in the north west, just north of Rennes.   They were extremely fresh and were medium no. 3 oysters and thankfully not too metallic.  Taking down the first oyster, I closed my eyes and let that taste of the ocean sit on my tongue and then swallowed it…this was heaven!  The oysters were accompanied with a lemon wedge and simple shallot mignonette, and were served with crostinis and butter with a hint of chopped anchovy in it.  I wasn’t a big fan of the butter or crostinis, but the oysters definitely hit the spot!

Cheese platter:

This delectable cheesey platter came with a selection of 4 exquisite cheeses, including a Brie de meaux, Fourme D’ambert (blue cheese), Comte and a Cantal which is an uncooked pressed cheese similar to a cheddar in texture and sharpness.

Live Brittany Lobster roasted with herbs, served with pilaf rice:

Having had the oysters, cheese platter, and a bottle of wine, we shared  the Lobster.  This was simple cooking at its finest with an incredibly buttery lobster roasted with a combination of herbs (which had hints of fresh parsley, oregano, thyme and basil) on top.  Without overpowering Larry, this symphony of herbs was the perfect complement…it was simple and to the point…just like this post!

The Verdict:

Happier than Larry!!  The food was fresh and flavorful and simply wonderful, and the experience at La Mascotte was great!  If you’re ever in the Montmartre area, we definitely recommend visiting this local favorite for some of the freshest  seafood in town!

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