Le Marais is considered by many to be the dining capital of Paris with choices abound. Varying from take-out hot dogs on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple to falafels on the iconic rue des Rosiers to up-and-coming hipster hangouts where the design is equally as important as the menu, choosing a place to dine is a culinary experience in itself. One group of French restaurateurs with a penchant for North American travel decided what the chic quartier needed was a splash of something different, and opened a lobster joint.
Steering away from the opulence that could be equated with going out for lobster in Paris and taking a cue from Northeast lobster restaurants they frequented on their travels, friends Damien Borjesson, Remy Bougenaux, Vivien Mathieu, and Louis Kerveillant opened Les Pinces (meaning “claws” in French) in November 2014.
In a space that is as welcoming as the bilingual staff, they have been enjoying success through word-of-mouth recommendations from Marais locals and French foodie journals that boast its charm, as well as the direct nature of their offering. The concept is simple: for 25 euros, you have the choice of three plats. You can choose from a one-pound broiled lobster, a lobster roll, or a steak. Each dish comes accompanied with a house salad, homemade fries, and creamy herbed mayonnaise.
The lobster roll consists of generous, meaty pieces of lobster gently coated with a house-made mayonnaise, expertly presented in a brioche loaf created exclusively for this luxury sandwich. The lobster is decidedly no-frills, keeping to classic preparations, and comes from either Bretagne (the west tip of France that specializes in seafood ), Canada, or the United States.
Themed cocktails created by mixologist Eric Le Bouar are dubbed with kitschy names, like the Red Tail and Green Claw, and are infused with fresh juices and fruits. The house favorite the Brazilian Flipper is a fresh seaside cocktail of gin-soaked basil, sweetened with fresh-squeezed lime juice and topped off with sparkling water.
Parroting the simplicity of the menu, the décor was gestated by interior architect Marika Dru, who kept the focus on natural woods and Parisian architecture fixtures, such as exposed beams and patches of the original stone walls. Communal tables run through the main dining area and along the wooden banquette while the bar area accommodates clusters of tables for two.
In an area already notably infused with places to eat, Les Pinces stands out as an address to see and – since we’re talking about the Marais here – a place to be seen.
Les Pinces- 29 Rue du Bourg Tibourg 75004. Tel: +33 (0)9 83 56 47 93.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 7:00-10:30; Friday-Sunday 12:30-2:30 and 7:00-11:00.
Métro: Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11).
- Seafood and cocktails are always a good combination. Check out this roundup of our favorite spots for more options.
- For another take on fishy dishes, don’t miss Clamato, the closest thing in Paris to your favorite summer seafood shack.
- If you’re a lobster lover, Les Pinces in the way to go. But if you’re looking for more undersea variety, peek at The Guardian’s favorite seafood restaurants in Paris.
Written by Lisa Czarina Michaud for the HiP Paris Blog. Photos provided courtesy of Les Pinces. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.