Dining options: Lunch Spot, Dinner, Reservations, After-hours
Neighbourhood: Lille Centre 12
Description: L’Ecume des Mers in Lille lies near the Grand’ Place, just ten minutes’ walk from both train stations – and it’s open every single day of the year, even in August, so you are always assured of a warm welcome and fantastic seafood. L’Ecume des Mers (it means ‘sea foam’) is the younger sister of longtime favourite l’Huitriere. The smart marine bleu and white front leads into an elegant mezzanined dining space in cool shades of blues, greys and creams with soaring ceiling and tables arranged around a central bar. The menu, under the care of chef Christian Leroy, depends on the catch of the day, but usually includes oysters, fruits de mers and all manner of wild fish (only salmon is farmed) in dishes like skate in black butter. There are land-based dishes, too, and ten menus available for larger parties. Groups have the benefit of the upstairs Petit Salon seating up to 12, the Library seating up to 60, or the main dining room seating up to 100. A covered terrace comes into its own in the warm months. The intelligent wine list features a wine of the month available by the glass, pichet or bottle.