La Rhétaise and Madame Sardine: Behind the Local Oyster Scene in Ile de Re

Welcome to Ile de Re. This beautiful little island off the coast of France has quite an oyster scene. Hundreds of farms on the island produce millions of tons of oysters every year!

While spending a few nights there during our summer vacation, we discovered two places we absolutely adored for local seafood and oysters.

The first was Madame Sardine. Their “Fruits du Mer” dishes are buttery, flavorful, and filling. It’s a small narrow restaurant with a lot of funky art and irreverent, carefree and playful staff. The selection of local wines are actually quite good and the mood was super casual. Although it’s on the main strip in Saint Martin de Re, it feels hidden from the rest of the typical tourist haunts.

La Rhétaise is quite a different scene. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and by nowhere I mean smack in the middle of acres of oyster basins. On sunnier days, you can rent bikes, but our time there was pouring with rain. Their menu is limited exclusively to oysters, mussels, fish chowder, and a small handful of other selections. As we sat underneath the awning, shivering from the rain and gazing over the oyster beds, a feeling of serenity and authenticity made our lunch very memorable.

Here is a short story of our experience!

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