My lunch at the Brasserie du Theatre was my favorite restaurant meal of my most recent trip to Paris. My friend Australian friend Merryn and I planned our reunion (after 25 years) based on her trip to see her husband's family in Rueil Malmaison (a Northwestern suburb of Paris) so we met in nearby St. Germain-en-laye for lunch at a bistro where one of my other friends knows the owner (Brasserie du Theatre is related to a restaurant in the 2nd arrondissement, so if you don't want to travel to the suburbs, go for a meal in the heart of Paris at Le Vaudeville).
Since this Brasserie is fully booked by locals, the only way to get a table is to either call at least a week in advance or to drop a name and smooth talk the maitre d'hotel into getting a table (we used the second method).
We both started with appertifs, a Kir for me and a pastis for Merryn, after all, a reunion after 25 years should start with something indulgent:) I ordered the Moyen (medium) oysters, served with dark bread, butter and a raspberry vinaigrette as is the custom in all of France. I particularly love eating oysters in France because they do not EVER rinse the oysters, serving them in the water that is naturally in the shells when they are shucked, preserving the natural taste of the sea with every oyster.
Merryn chose her favorite appetizer of warm crottin (goat cheese) served on toasted bread in a salad with a pretty tomato accent. She loved the version here and literally cleaned her plate.
We both chose the Bar Grille (grilled sea bass) as our entree and we were surprised by the size of the fish and the tenderness of the flesh. The perfectly grilled fresh fish was so delicate that we both managed to finish the 12" fish and the vegetables!
We had no room for dessert, but this fabulous meal with drinks, appetizers and entrees for two was only 70 Euros total (about USD$100), a great price for food of this quality in a beautiful ambiance with a view of the chateau and impeccable service, but seeing Merryn after 25 years was worth 100 times the price of our meal.