4.5 (The) Lobster Bar, 41, rue Coquilliere in the 1st, 08.99.02.45.54 (Metro: Louvre-Rivoli) opens April 2nd and today (disclosure) was open to the press which included American bloggers. It's not large - 20 covers, has a startling mural and mirror showing the rapport between Cape Cod (upper center left) and Brittany. The concept is that of Mathieu Mercier who has been chasing lobster rolls up & down the American East Coast and figured, I figure, since Paris has gone nuts over burgers, food trucks and brownies, why not lobster rolls.
Circumstances: 1. The PR firm clearly invited too many guests and in 45 minutes the staff was overwhelmed and invitees were shoving to stand at the bar and the decibel level exceeded 75.7. 2. I have spent or mis-spent my summers in Maine for over 70 years so think I know more about lobster rolls than is safe. 3. I love American bottled mayonnaise and ballpark rolls, and 4. No matter what the erudite folks on websites say about being the same species - homarus - the US variety - Americanus is different from the Breton one - gammarus. M. Mercier states that "Brittany lobster.....has a softer and more refined flesh, with a sweeter and more intense flavor...." OK to the food:
The menu couldn't be simpler and the spread of 3 taramas, 2 rillettes and anchovies spread over terrific bread - most delicious. The urchin and crab ones were especially magnificent.
The lobster roll itself is not huge, for 26 E, it's about 6 inches long; the roll part is sweet not neutral; the lobster in bigger chunks than usually served Down East; the sauce very hard to discern; the fries nice but ours were served semicold due to the crush I fear; but the lettuces had a terrific sauce. At this point we were asked to move to the counter so those there could sit - cool - and there we had the spice cake and brownie with ice cream and coffee that I thought were great but my guest said she can do better.
The bill (if we had been charged and had two rolls and 2 glasses of wine each) would have been about 104 E plus whatever the coffee runs.
Go? If you're from New England, I think not, but if French or from west of the Hudson and are into novelty Yankee food, why not? (I'll be interested in what my expat pals who were there will write - all had different reactions verbally to me).