The second of our chosen restaurants caused an exclamation of 'Ah' from the hotel receptionist upon its mention so I was looking forward to it. Bofinger claims to be the oldest restaurant in Paris and is a stunning art deco decorated glass domed room by Place de la Bastille, Paris. Place de la Bastille has a bit of a Leicester Square feel to it but all is forgotten once you're inside. The girlfriend proclaimed it her favourite restaurant ever, and this was before we'd ordered let alone eaten. Many a restaurant in Paris has its shellfish displayed outside on ice, with diners tucking into huge platters of it inside, and as we'd not tried it ourselves we decided to make Saturday the night.
On the menu there were three platters: one with a crab, one with half a crab and half a lobster and a final one with a whole crab and whole lobster, this one labelled two persons. I thought the first looked reasonable for two people though and so ordered it for our starter to share. After giving the waiter our main order (I opted for andouilette) he suggetsed we have the platter first and then we decide if we wanted anything more, let alone a huge grilled chitterling sausage and chips, as the platters were pretty big. Needless to say from the photo above I didn't have the sausage.
The platter was huge - a big crab, two small crabs (not sure if you're meant to eat these), a dozen oysters, brown shrimp, prawns, raw mussels, raw clams and bulot. I've never had bulot before and they ended up being my favourite, big sea snails with a fabulous meaty texture. The rest was fantastic too, don't get me wrong, but the bulots really did it for me. We didn't even finish the platter (a few oysters and clams remained), let alone have mains.
We did have some munster to finish though. Served alongisde boiled potatoes and with cumin seeds to scatter on top this was another first. Cheese is quite a new one for me, only 5 years ago I didn't really eat the stuff but I've force fed myself for years and now happily eat lumps of Stillton -something I couldn't have imagined a few years back. The munster was still a bit much at first though, it was really quite pungent stuff. The mouth seemed to get used to it though and it was pleasant another a few mouthfuls in.
On top of great cold and raw seafood (I can't comment on the chefs' abilities really) the service here was fantastic. Our waiter bent over backwards to help and answered every question posed, a true professional. When we left he gave us a pamphlet detailing the history of the place along with photos of various celebrities who'd eaten there's signatures - I haven't got it to hand but one that sticks in mind is Steven Spielberg. If I'm in Paris again I'd love to return here for some cooked food, maybe I'll finally eat an andoilette there.