Restaurant Serge Voisin
At Serge Voisin, you can almost hear the seagulls singing. Inside this tavern with an Aegean Sea vibe (a shipshape ark, ferry benches, ocean liner posters), this shellfish master waxes poetic about the return to grace of the Nîmes Olympique soccer team and his oysters: ultra-meaty Mediterranean oysters (€15 for a dozen) or the stars from Utah Beach in Normandy (€18 for nine, if there’s any left…). The night we went, we opted for the Olérons because of the heat wave. However, we didn’t feel shortchanged, thanks to an order of six mussels each the size of an Inca amulet, with incredible homemade aioli, six big shrimp, six whelks from the English channel and eight Charentais clams (€25 for the assortment). It was all served on the sidewalk terrace facing Le Prolé, an immense dive that’s the former French Communist Party headquarters, followed by a baba au rhum, a coupe colonel (lemon sorbet doused in vodka) or Greek yogurt for dessert (€5.50 each). And to drink, there are good family wines: Costières-de-Nîmes from the Château L’Ermitage (€3.50 a glass), or a Cévennes from Le Mas Brès produced by Maurice Barnouin (€20 a bottle). Tourteau crab €21, mussels €8, whelks and shrimp €9.50 a dozen, platters for two €39-49. Payment by card not accepted. // D.N.