In a former fish shop (whose first letter has been altered from P to B), Fish La Boissonnerie is not only known for its fine cuisine, but also for running wine-tasting courses in English, which may explain why the diners were almost all English-speakers the night of our visit.
We love the place’s retro mosaic façade, and wanted to check whether the dishes are worth their slightly lofty prices…
The restaurant is close to our hotels, just off the pedestrianised rue de Buci, which has an impressive number of bustling bars that you might like to visit before eating.
It’s a lively area, typically Parisian, and the nostalgic feel of the restaurant together with its simple decor – juste a few framed pictures and apparent wood beams – makes you feel at ease.
The waitresses greeted us with big smiles (always important) and once sat down we started checking out the menu, which changes daily depending on what’s available at the market.
It didn’t take long for us to be seduced by the idea of a glass of sparkling rosé, suggested above the bar.
If you know nothing about wine, the team is there to advise, and you can ask for pairing suggestions for each dish if you want (very handy).
Before starting the meal, a little amuse-bouche arrives – a cucumber gazpacho which is surprisingly tasty for such a neutral vegetable.
We decide to share a starter, raw salmon with cucumber and curdled milk, dill oil and a buckwheat biscuit.
The fish was super soft, melt-in-the-mouth, delicious and served with cubes of cucumber and slices of gherkin. The buckwheat biscuit was surprisingly bitter, but this may have been to complement the curdled milk (which was similar to a clotted cream).
For our first dish, we chose the fresh linguine with green asparagus, morel mushrooms and a savignan foam.
The pasta was evidently very fresh, perfectly cooked al dente, and the morel mushrooms soft, while the asparagus was perfectly crunchy. The foam base wasn’t overpoweringly strong, and the dish was a real success in our eyes.
We only had one complaint – the serving size was a little small. 32€ euros for pasta and mushrooms, however delicious, deserved a more generous portion.
Our other main dish was Parisian-style gnocchi (???), with feta cheese, bottarga and shallot and tarragon vinaigrette. Sound good, right?
If you are used to rubbery supermarket gnocchi, you’re in for a surprise. These ones are square and soft, melting on the tongue.
However, they are served on a vast bed of fennel which we found a little too much towards the end (there was an awful lot of it), and once again the pasta serving itself was a little mean. Or perhaps it was just that we couldn’t get enough of this delicious fare? ?
As we didn’t feel completely full, the idea of dessert was a positively appealing one.
We decided to go for the pink pomelo with lemon syrup, nougatine and a chartreuse sorbet, as well as a Kouign-amann with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel.
The pomelo arrives served like a fruit salad, with the chartreuse sorbet melting into it, giving hints of rosemary and other aromatic herbs. A real success, and the nougatine was amazing!
As for the Kouign-amann, it was packed with a delicious buttery taste, accentuated by the lovely ice cream and salted biscuit. Superb!
The meal ended with a strong expresso coffee, and we took a few moments to enjoy the ambiance and music, an eclectic selection that started off in the 1960s before coming bang up to date with some mainstream French electronic acts.
Everyone was taking their time, and there was no pressure to leave (unlike some places we could mention). Some tables were even taken by people dining alone, which is rare in Paris, and something we took as confirmation of the place’s good vibrations.
We enjoyed our meal, although it’s true that some portions could have been bigger, and some prices smaller. All in all though, it’s easy to understand why the Boissonnerie is such a success.
Fish La Boissonnerie (here) is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner
Online booking here
To check out all our photos of Fish la Boissonnerie, simply click here.