It looks like Alexandre Gauthier has ended up being unfaithful to his all-terrain stronghold, as the gifted chef of La Grenouillère has headed west to claim his stake on the long beach of Merlimont. Nobody will therefore be surprised that his latest catch, a former restaurant revamped in a micro-ocean liner style by the Ateliers Saint-Lazare (glass roof, an elegant yellow and white tiled bar, wooden benches like you’d find on old ferries), very quickly became THE spot to eat seafood cuisine at the crest of the wave. Devoured on the terrace, with your feet in the water and the wind in your hair: graphic sea bream carpaccio with diced nectarines, fleur de sel and basil; perfect mussels marinière sprinkled with parsley, escorted by a bowl of crunchy fries; flawless cod served as fish & chips with a dollop of homemade béarnaise; before a big, nostalgic cream puff filled with an airy vanilla cream. Good to know: if you arrive early, head to the roof terrace with its 180° sea view, and chill under the yellow parasols while waiting for your turn. // Marcelle Claudepierre
FEELING THIRSTY? A small glass of muscadet Pour L’Histoire from the Domaine Ménard-Gaborit (€6), along with a selection of wines favored by the sommelier from La Grenouillère: Montée des Roches, a classic Saumur-Champigny from Arnaud Lambert (€50 a bottle), or a chic Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume from Lavantureux (€90)…
PRICE: À la carte €31-47, but the bill can start to heat up with the caviar (€70 for 30g) or the lobster-mayo (€42).
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