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“Our Favorite in Reims!”

Le Bocal Restaurant
Ranked #47 of 448 Restaurants in Reims
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Stamford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Our Favorite in Reims!”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

This tiny restaurant in the back of a fish monger served us our most memorable dinner thoughout our stay in the region. We asked our waitress to design our menu. It turns out we were in very capable hands! We had crustaceans of every size, shape and color, but the oysters were just amazing! Following in a close second place were some delicious head-on shrimp. The wine list is a bit limited, but we were thrilled with our 2011 Vire-Clesse. (We'd never heard of it.) What a fun, and delicious experience!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mary V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Delightful - champagne and delicious seafood in tiny little gem of a back-of-shop restaurant”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Before our visit to Reims we'd already decided that on each of our three nights in the city we were going to go low, medium and high in terms of our dining choices.

With no disrespect to Le Bocal this was our low-cost choice. (Our other choices were Le Pre Champenois and Le Parc les Crayeres. I've written separate reviews of them.)

Le Bocal has possibly the most unprepossessing entrance of anywhere I've ever eaten. It's at the back of a fishmonger's shop and makes no effort to fluff-up the route from front of shop to back of shop and into restaurant. So workmanlike was it that I actually thought we must've got the wrong place. However we saw the menu in the window and ventured in.

The restaurant is tiny with no more than 20 covers and the furniture is cute French-style garden furniture. It's actually really sweet - not the plastic garden furniture you'd get in Britain - maybe not the most comfortable but fine for a couple of hours.

There were very nice touches such as lovely drinking glasses, candles on the table, little pencil and ordering card if you fancy oysters (of which there is a great choice) and wines by the glass as well as bottle. All very modestly priced.

A chalk-board of daily specials and a short printed menu are all in French - but don't be put off by that as it's pretty easy to work-out what the dishes are if you've done even basic French at school and the waiter (who is the middle-aged Patron of the shop/restaurant) will explain in pigeon-English if need be.

There were no other nationalities than French the night we ate there (which I took to be a good sign) and also when we entered several of the other diners said Bonsoir to us meaning we didn't feel out of place or as though we'd invaded a kind of 'private world' where tourists weren't welcome.

The food was simple and delicious. A mixture of seafood and fish served with either vegetables or rice with diced vegetables. It was all beautifully unpretentious. You got what you ordered i.e. when the food arrived it wasn't an 'ironic' twist on a simple dish meaning that you got something different and less enjoyable than you hoped, it was just a simple dish beautifully prepared, tasting gorgeous by a smiling person and in good sized portions.

Despite the fact we also had a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne the bill with 3 courses each and a complimentary appetizer was 120euros. (As this is the champagne producing region of France champagne is quaffed absolutely everywhere and is seen as common-place - literally everybody drinks it - maybe I'll buy a house there!). If we hadn't had the champagne it would've been around 60euros for 2 people which was excellent value for the quality of the food we ate.

The owners of Le Bocal have developed a very logical method of getting the most out of a business: the fishmonger's closing hours and the restaurant opening hours are consecutive and the place is completely family-run. A good example of making the most of your product and maximising the commercial space at your disposal.

We rated it the best supper of our holiday and definitely the most enjoyable food and ambience. The only place of the three we ate at that I would go out of my way to eat at again.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
6 Thank GalleryGirl64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnhem, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing seafood!!!!”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Great service! Great mayonnaise!
Unfortunately, menu all in French.... but it changes on a daily basis and the staff are very accomodating and will explain the menu to you in English!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PunjabiFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
360 reviews
242 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Looks great, but they obviously didn't want us to try it...”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We checked out the internet whilst staying in Reims & decided that Le Bocal looked ideal for us all to have dinner.
My wife, daughter & I stood out the front viewing the menu & it all looked really good.
We were standing next to a couple of two seater tables when a lady, who I can only assume was a waitress of some kind, wandered across to the tables we were looking at using & without even bothering to speak or make eye contact placed a couple of reserved signs on them - right under our noses...
If this doesn't say "We don't want you to eat here", I don't know what does.
We couldn't believe this ignorance & decided that with manners like that they didn't actually deserve our business, so we ate elsewhere.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Service
Thank Jonny-Northerner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
80 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A delicious seafood meal in Reims - France”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We had booked in advance for table for 6 as the restaurant was near to our hotel. We were not disappointed with the seafood and wonderful service that evening.As we had 2 young kids with us, the lady staff was very helpful and gave us a quiet area inside the rather small dining area. She made some excellent recommendations for our dinner menu with a mixture of oysters, fish, squid etc. As she could not speak English, she manage to convey herself well and we were delighted with her service provided to our family.
The seafood was really fresh and we had an enjoyable evening and would surely return again.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelwithMattLui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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