This year seems to be a good one for moules (mussels). Moules Frites is, of course one of the favourite dishes of Northern France, but, like wine, the shellfish ingredient can vary from year to year. 2012 seems to be a vintage year for plump, moist, tender and tasty moules.
Currently our favourite place to eat this traditional dish is Le Crotoy, a fishing port on the Baie de la Somme, the estuary of the River Somme. You will find Moules served here in pretty much every eating place from the humblest cafe to the poshest white-linen restaurant.
Frogsiders can recommend, in particular, two places in Le Crotoy where we are confident you will enjoy your dish of mussels served, bien sûr, with chips.
Le Cafe des Canotiers
14 Quai Courbet – 80550 Le Crotoy – Tél : +33 3 22 27 80 56
Our verdict: Excellent moules. Good thick chips. Pleasant service. Not the most picturesque situation unless you eat outdoors with a view of the quay and harbour.
Recommendation: Try the house speciality, Moules “Les Canotiers” in which cream and home-made fish soup are added to the cooking liqour.
Hotel Restaurant “Aux Trois Jean”
Digue Jules Noiret – 80550 Le Crotoy – Tél : +33 3 22 27 16 17
Our verdict: Top A1 quality moules. Fabulous, really brilliant chips! A big restaurant that can get very crowded, so best avoid the busiest times. Eat before the rush, is our tip. Service is friendly but can be a bit brusque at busy times. Inside, the chairs and tables are packed close together, so eat out on the terrace if it’s a nice day. The view over the beach and the bay, with its big tides, boats and changing scenery, is attractive and interesting.
Recommendation: Try the chef’s own “Moules 3 Jean” which has cream, mushrooms and lardons added to coat the lovely shellfish. Messy to eat, but worth it! You can follow up with the “Coupe 3 Jean” dessert which sounded great to us, but just a bit too big for what was left of our appetites!