Le Dôme

One of the temples of great shellfish and other assorted seafood; this is one of my favorite restaurants for lunch on a Friday or Saturday. In January, the oysters are out of this world. The meal began with the restaurant's classic fish soup, one of the finest renditions of that dish one will find in France. The wonderful lobster salad was filled with perfectly cooked lobster and vegetables in a homemade mayonnaise sauce. Then we ate ... embarrassing quantities of oysters! The conclusion was their plat de la résistance, a delicious Sole Meunière made from incredibly fresh sole (caught within 48 hours of being served) sautéed in butter, and served on the bone.

The wonderful 2002 Loires are just hitting the shelves, and Paul Cotat's Sancerre Beaujeu was marvelously opulent, with loads of tropical fruit, and the crisp minerality so essential to these wines. André Perret's 2001 Condrieu is a beauty, but seemed less vigorous than when I had it six months earlier.

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