If you want a taste of Gregory Marchand’s cooking without the challenge of scoring a reservation at Frenchie, this is where to go.
An absolute favorite
Address: 6 rue du Nil, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3)
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7p.m.-10:30p.m.
Reservations: Reservations not accepted
Telephone: No phone
Average price for dinner: 20-34€
Style of cuisine: Modern French
Reviews of interest
François Simon – Figaroscope (2012) “j’ai réussi à décrocher une salade de carotte, orange, avocat et cacahuètes. Pas mauvais, un peu court: trois feuilles de salade extraites du Tupperware, un croissant d’avocat…”
Emmanuel Rubin – Le Figaro (2011) “…épatante à chahuter l’idée du petit plat, à raffiner le canaille et à affûter le propos ménager. Tellement habile côté assiette qu’on en oublierait presque une cave tout aussi percutante.”
David Lebovitz (2011) “…the food is just as good as the main restaurant across the alley…The wine list is so compelling that the next morning when I woke up, I realized that the four of us had gone through four bottles of wine.”
François-Régis Gaudry – L’Express (2011) “Le générique des vins est oecuménique, déjouant le diktat du tout nature via le Nouveau Monde…tapas après tapas, on a retourné toute la carte…une burrata crémeuse dopée par une huile d’olive ardente et une concassée de petits pois frais à la menthe; un exceptionnel filet de truite fumée caressé par le velours d’une purée d’avocat et électrisé par une rafale de concombre vinaigré…”
Alexander Lobrano (2011) “…a terrific small-plates menu that comes from the kitchen across the street and offers delicious cameos of Marchand’s talent…I loved the wine list here, too…it not only suits Marchand’s cooking to a T but pushes out the walls a bit by including wines from other countries…”
Monsieur Henri (75003) Natural wine scene fixture Dzine Breyet has opened a new wine bar in the haute Marais, featuring “harsh lighting, a low ceiling, and ill-advised primary-coloured wine storage cages,” according to Aaron Ayscough. However, “the value of a divey geek wine bar like Monsieur Henri lies in individualist eccentricities [like multiple Jura white being offered by the glass that night]. Monsieur Henri contains magnums of challenging wines. It offers cult eau de vie de cidre. It is perceptibly run by someone with a passionate investment in the scene.”
Read the full review at Not Drinking Poison in Paris
The rue du Nil, when Greg Marchand set up Frenchie restaurant, was nowheresville. Three years later, it’s a scene. Lines form before 7pm outside Frenchie Bar à Vins, which Marchand opened across the street in June 2011. Some have arrived with the deluded hope that there might be a cancellation at the restaurant. Most are there for the wine bar itself, which serves small plates and charcuterie. They scribble their names on a clipboard waiting list, spill wine on the cobblestones, and bring life to what was previously a dark little street.
In a few days, Marchand will complete work on an expansion of Frenchie Bar à Vins. The wine bar will reopen in the rentrée (after closing from July 28-August 22) with twenty-two additional seats, two new chefs from Denmark and Sweden, and a much larger kitchen. The former prep area, where 100 plates per night were created in a space that was smaller than la toilette, will be re-purposed for cold wine storage and cured meats.
Beneath the surface, Marchand has doubled the size of the cave to permit better storage and increased wine sales. He’s added another prep area, anticipating a future in which Frenchie Wine Bar might make produce in-house everything that’s on the menu. That will certainly include the house-made pasta he plans to add to the wine bar menu.
With this expansion, it’s clear that Marchand plans to stay in the Sentier and not relocate to a more central and larger location. He considered the latter, but says he loves the community that’s growing up around the rue du Nil. In the not-so-distant-future, that community will include a retail space for Terroirs d’Avenir (7, rue du Nil), the distributors of pristine produce that supply Frenchie, Saturne, Au Passage, Verjus, and many other ingredient-driven restaurants.