Hiding in the maze of old, twisting streets, Le Chalut is the place for fish and seafood lovers. Don’t be deceived by the blue leather booths and the slightly garish green walls. This is Michelin-starred refined cuisine, featuring high-quality, ‘just off-the-boat’ ingredients with old-school service. Specialties include scallops with white truffle or turbot served with chanterelles. Several menus are available, some for lunch, some for dinner, all accompanied with amuse-bouches. For lobster lovers, try the all-lobster menu.
Le Chalut, 8 Rue de la Corne de Cerf, Saint-Malo, France, +33 2 99 56 71 58
L’Entre Deux Verres
L’Entre Deux Verres is located deep in St. Malo’s old town. It’s worth searching for this restaurant, which focuses on dishes using fresh, local ingredients with a twist. The menu is short, featuring three choices per course, but each dish is imaginative and wonderfully presented. Try the scallop ceviche with avocado crème for starter and duckling filet with vegetable tagine as a main. The wine list features a good selection of French wine, ranging from the Loire to Bordeaux to Bourgogne.
Autour du Beurre
Autour du Beurre is part of the famous Maison du Beurre, Jean-Yves Bordier’s dairy whose butter and cheeses are served in the world’s best restaurants. Using traditional 19th-century butter-making techniques, Mr. Bordier has turned butter-making into an art. He has also won awards for his cheese ripening. The restaurant itself is equally impressive. The appetizer is a butter board – eight different varieties of butter from Madagascar vanilla flavored to lemon-infused olive oil butter. The main dishes are modern French with a dash of the omnipresent butter. To finish, there is the excellent cheese plate. Save some time for the Maison du Beurre boutique next door for butter and cheese to take away.
The name Le Cambusier is a maritime term, referring to the sailor responsible for the distribution of food and drink to the crew. This restaurant serves traditional French cuisine with an innovative twist, often with a touch of Asian spice, created by a chef who has earned many accolades. The special kids’ menu is also highly recommended. The wine list is extensive, covering both firm French favorites and some more unusual choices, including a good selection of organic wines. Many are available by the glass, and if one really takes your fancy, it’s possible to buy a bottle.
Le Cambusier, 6 Rue des Cordiers, 35400 Saint-Malo, France, +33 2 99 20 18 42
Bistro de Jean
Bistro de Jean, away from the crowds, is popular with the locals and serves a variety of typical bistro dishes. It’s good if you’re craving a change from fish and seafood, as it serves good steak, lamb and duck. Portions are ample and wine by the glass is generous. The dark wood interior is cozy and warm, while service is friendly and relaxed. Importantly, it’s open on Mondays when many of the restaurants in St. Malo are closed.
Housed in the heart of the old town in a 17th-century building, Restaurant l’Absinthe blends the old and the new seamlessly and stylishly. If stairs are not an issue, the mezzanine, overlooking the floor below through the big atrium, is an excellent choice for a cozy and romantic meal. The menu includes fish and meat options, and there is a good choice of set menus. Try the house special St. Malo scallops fried with local algue accompanied with squid ink tagliatelli. The restaurant offers a set of recommended wines selected to match each course.
Restaurant l’Absinthe, 1 Rue de l’Orme, 35400 Saint-Malo, France, +33 2 99 40 26 15
Au Coin Malouin
Family-owned Au Coin Malouin is the choice for meat lovers in a town otherwise dominated by fish and seafood. The hearty and relaxed welcome matches the portions. Take advantage of the card and board games provided while waiting for food. The interior is warm with dark wood and red against the stone walls. Dried and cured meats hang over the bar while the big, red charcuterie slicing machine takes pride of place on the counter. As can be expected, the menu is all about meat: charcuterie, grilled specials and towering burgers. The restaurant also offers a wide selection of rums.