Behold m’sieur dame, the almighty seafood tower!

Cancale’s waterfront area is lined shoulder-to-shoulder with restaurants displaying menus and price ranges to suit every appetite. The Madame at our chambre d’hote suggested that we try Le Continental hotel (their indoor/outdoor restaurant is “L’Ormeau” – The Abalone) and to mention that we were sent their way by the local tourist board, Pro Baie. Well so much for getting my hopes up for eating abalone because L’Ormeau had a no-dog policy. We headed towards nearby Le Querrien and found better luck. Their website lists 16 versions of Plateau di Fruits de Mer (aka the seafood tower). And 2 little doggies? Bienvenue!

Plateau du Cap d'Erquy
Slurping down oysters amounts to nothing compared to this.

Up to this point in our french getaway we had been enjoying meals like good civilized people — forks, knives, no lip smacking, yes thank you, please pass the bread — but on the fourth night, all that suffocating decency came to an end. Weapons at the ready, we were posed for battle as the waitress set the heaping platter of seafood on ice atop its metal stand.

Seafood tower weapons
Tools of the trade; one lemon-scented handwipe included.

Seafood tower
A dozen creuse oysters split between n°3 and n°2 sizes, 2 crabs, 12 langoustines (scampi), bulot (whelks), bigorneaux (periwinkles), crevettes roses (pink shrimps) and crevettes grises (tiny gray shrimps). Missing: amandes, a type of cockle and they were either out of season or forgotten but I wasn’t in the mood to complain. Loads of lemon wedges plus a small basket of bread and french butter. Mignonette sauce and aioli for dipping. 68 euros. Ooh-LAH-LAH.

“You gotta poke the damn thing with a needle like this!” I tell MotH. Sorry dear if I lost my cool after seeing you struggle with the periwinkles. Granted, almost half the lot were empty (strike 2 against Le Querrien) but trust me, I grew up eating these things as a kid. Although the waitstaff were professional and the Plateau du Cap d’Erquy left us satisfied, I know we won’t visit this place again. There’s a plethora of other seafood towers waiting elsewhere in Cancale.

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