For my money one of the most charming villages in Normandy, Honfleur has a beautiful old harbor surrounded by slate-covered buildings. The atmospheric old town, with cobblestone streets and an ancient wooden church, is studded with restaurants, shops, and art galleries. It’s a great home base for visiting the whole region.
1 rue de la République
Open: 12:00 to 14:00 & 19:00 to 21:00
Closed: Wednesdays and Thursdays
Average Price: €40 per person
L'Ecailleur (scaler, as in fish scaler) is one of my favorite stops in all of France. To start with, the location is marvelous. The restaurant occupies the ground floor of a small building on a corner of the Enclosure area, with views of the old harbor. The interior is smart and modern, with little to distract you from the view and the food.
I have always been greeted warmly and graciously at the door, even when they have had to inform me that -- malheureusement -- they are fully booked for the night. Make a reservation, so that doesn't happen to you. Once seated, you'll find a few items listed on their a la carte menu, but you're far better off considering one of their fixed price menus. At €27 to €39, a meal here is not cheap, but it's good value. The four-course meal includes an appetizer, main course, cheese plate and dessert.
Once you've ordered, and while you're enjoying the view, a little amuse-bouche will arrive. Literally a "mouth amusement", this will be a small and always interesting something to tickle your palate and keep you busy while your appetizer is being prepared. It won't be long, though, before your courses begin to arrive. The presentation is a work of art, and you may feel like it's just too pretty to eat. Fortunately they pay as much attention to the quality and flavor as they do to the visuals.
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