cover image Meet Paris Oyster: A Love Affair with the Perfect Food

Meet Paris Oyster: A Love Affair with the Perfect Food

Mireille Guiliano. Grand Central, $20 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4555-2408-2

In her breezy and engaging new paean to the French way of living and eating well, Guiliano (French Women Don’t Get Fat) discusses one of her favorite foods and the tiny Paris oyster bar in the Sixth Arrondissement that’s become her home away from home: Huitrerie Régis (huîtres is French for “oyster”), which is barely big enough to accommodate 20 diners with seven tables inside and a few outside. It is run by the imperious but charming Régis, who bakes his own apple tart for the restaurant six days each week. It’s not the kind of place where everyone will call out your name when you arrive, and the small staff may be indifferent if you’re new. In fact, when Guiliano went for the first time, starving and ill-tempered, Régis made her wait 30 minutes for a table. As she learned later, his number one rule is “Nobody gives me pressure.” But her bad mood was quickly forgotten upon tasting the oysters, which are simply accompanied by a slice of bread with a thick layer of salted butter and a chilled glass of wine. Guiliano also provides lessons in how to open and eat an oyster (an expert shucker should leave the liquor in the bottom shell to avoid a dry, less flavorful tasting experience) and gives a brief but helpful overview of French oysters, including types, regions, and which wine makes for the best pairing.[em] (Nov.) [/em]