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Brasserie La Lorraine

Paris brasserie, La Lorraine

Brasserie La Lorraine

Scrumptious Seafood Steps from the Champs-Élysées

2 Place des Ternes, 75008 Paris

This review may contain sponsored or affiliate links.

I love hip. I love modern and innovative cuisine with unexpected twists and turns. However, when it comes to no-fail meals in Paris, a good old brasserie never lets me down. And the gorgeous Brasserie La Lorraine, which I recently discovered, does not disappoint. Situated within five minutes of the Arc de Triomphe, in a superb location on the ground floor of a Haussmannian building, it boasts ample space and a generous supply of old-school charm.

As you enter the restaurant, you’re greeted by a colorful display case filled with langoustines, shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and whatever else the catch of the day might be. A pretty solid clue that, if seafood is what you’re craving, you’ve come to the right place.

Fresh fish on display at French brasserie

I’m here to try the raw bar, on a mission to finally conquer my fear of soft and gelatinous mollusks. I’m a sea snail novice. I barely tried raw oysters once before. It would be fair to say that I’m slightly intimidated by the plateau de fruits de mer brought to the table by a black-suited gentleman who walks with the elegance and grace of a movie star. I pick up a whelk and poke tentatively at the soft flesh with the tiny fork provided.

What follows next is a revelation of taste and texture, which makes me regret that I postponed this kind of experience for so long. The whelks are smooth, and delicious, and moreish. Next come the Cadoret oysters. Fun fact: the écailler (oyster shucker) at La Lorraine is Rabah Guechoud, who has been crowned meilleur écailler de France not once, but three times.

Gently holding an oyster in my hand, I allow it to slide off its shell and unto my tongue, along with the small puddle of sea water surrounding it. As it hits my taste buds, I sigh. The flavor is divine. The freshness is intact. My mind is instantly elsewhere, on a distant Brittany shore, where these luscious creatures were harvested by rugged oystermen mere hours before.

Seafood platter at Parisian brasserie

I’m tasting the entire ocean on a half shell, and I just want more! Accompanying the oysters, there’s warm bread, dark and dense, alongside salty butter. And a couple of different sauces (mignonette, maybe?). And large pink shrimp. With shrimp, I feel a bit more confident, although shelling it is a messy job. Messy, but fun.

I’m already halfway to satiety when the main course arrives. I ordered mussels with girolles, the tiny yellow mushrooms that taste so delectable when sautéed in a pool of butter. The movie star look-alike glides by and sets to work at a small counter right behind me, performing a demonstrative act of haute cuisine tableside.

Mussels at French restaurant in Paris

He’s cooking those mussels and girolles right there, on a portable stove surrounded by white tablecloth. I can’t help but admire the theatrics while I take deep anticipatory breaths of the aromas wafting in my direction. The dish is cooked to perfection and brought to the table in a beautiful pan still sizzling with butter foam. The mussels are divine. So are the girolles. All my senses are pleased in an impeccable manner.

The dessert, an auspicious combination of panna cotta, berries, and crème Chantilly, has the unfair disadvantage of arriving at a point where I can barely eat any more. It is so scrumptious that I somehow manage to do it justice. While I’m picking at the Chantilly in a most satisfied epicurean haze, I imagine upcoming feasts upon a return visit. Because La Lorraine, in the short span of a couple of hours, has managed to make itself unforgettable.

recommended by

Champs Elysées
Métro Ⓜ
2 Place des Ternes, 75008 Paris
Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 08:00-23:00; Tues-Thurs: 08:00-23:30; Fri-Sat: 08:00-00:00.

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