Tag Archives: natural wine

Au Passage

 One of our 50 Favorite Restaurants in Paris. It’s so nice when a restaurant delivers more than they need to, more than you expect to receive. When looking at a chalkboard menu filled with cheap small plates, one rarely hopes for anything more than simple products. But here at Au Passage, your 8€ octopus dish has undergone three days of preparation. There’s a quiet ethos at work beneath the blaring bustle of the dining room: staples are homemade (butter, bread, stock, charcuterie), vegetables and fish receive priority attention, and meat is served in a nose-to-tail spirit with every last offaly bit turning up on the menu. So much heart and creativity for so little money. Au Passage is not for everyone, nor is it trying to be. If the loud music, frenzied service, and worn-out interior turn some people away, that leaves more space for me.  Continue reading Au Passage

Le Verre Volé

This is no longer included among the favorite 350 addresses that make up Our Guide to Paris Restaurants. We’ve maintained this page so that you can refer to the practical information and other reviews of interest. Feel free to share your own opinion in the comments.

Practical information

Address: 67 rue de Lancry, 75010
Nearest transport: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 48 03 17 34
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 20-34€
Style of cuisine: small plates
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

Alexander Lobrano (2010) “Aside from the fact that this food was well-cooked, politely inventive and of very good quality, what I liked about it was that it was perfect social food, or pleasant comfort food to serve as a backdrop to good conversation and good wine.”

John Talbott (2010) “…it has evolved…heirloom tomatoes with anchovies (inspired)…pate en croute with foie gras and pigeon (again a great choice)”

David Lebovitz (2010) “This tiny wine bar has great food, up by the Canal St Martin, a very hip neighborhood. Generous plates of charcuterie and etc, in this tight little wine bar.”

Barbra Austin (2010) “The wall to the back room, a space once devoted to wine storage, has been knocked out and tables have been added. The camper van-sized kitchenette has been expanded into something that actually looks like a place where professionals can work…a friend and I shared a pile of crisp crevettes grises, a paté de grouse and, of course, the boudin noir.”

L’Express (2010) “Delphine Zampetti…avant le Verre Volé, elle concoctait une épatante cuisine de ménage qui déménage au Café Caché du 104, mixant les leçons apprises chez Raquel Carena (la chef du Baratin, Paris 20e), ses souvenirs familiaux de cuisine italienne et la Inaki’s touch…Et alors, aux fourneaux du Verre Volé ? Elle y va doucement, gentiment, sans trop brusquer les habitudes. Glisse une salade de moules de bouchots aux pois-chiches entre deux choses très Verre Volé.

Meg Zimbeck (2010) “There are two kinds of evenings at Le Verre Volé. The first is composed of dinner, wine and intimate conversation. The dishes are selected from a chalkboard menu that changes with the seasons…The second kind of evening chez Stolen Glass ends with chairs on pushed-back tables and some manner of debauchery.”

Figaroscope (2008) “…Cette adresse n’a jamais volé sa réputation et pourrait aujourd’hui toujours donner des leçons à de nombreuses caves ouvertes depuis, à Paris, autour de ce même concept…Une sélection de vins particulièrement sûre proposée avec un droit de bouchon de 7 €…et des assiettes qui font la part belle au cochon sous toutes ses formes…”

David Lebovitz (2005) “…One could also make up a meal composed of lots of the appetizers, like the roasted eggplant caviar, salt cod-stuffed peppers, or platters of various meats and cheeses…I’ll see you there.”

Le Cave

A wine shop from the restaurant Le Chateaubriand, driven by the passion of sommelier Sébastien Chatillon for natural, rare and foreign wines.

Practical information

Address: 129 avenue Parmentier, 75011
Nearest transport: Goncourt (line 11)
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday from 2-10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday
Telephone: 01 48 74 65 38

Reviews of interest

Aaron Ayscough (2014) “Food is sold to-go, but no food is available for consumption on premises… Yet a rotating cast of the shop’s exotic, borderline faddish wines are available by the glass… The wines actually displayed on Le Cave’s walls are precisely the same ones available at, say… any hip Paris restaurant with a young, curious somm who is nonetheless handcuffed by the limited amount of good non-French natural wines that make it into France.”

Blouin ArtInfo (2013) “On pourra ici découvrir toute une gastronomie autant qu’une poésie de noms de lieux (Céphalonie, Santorin, Conca de Barbera, Swartland, Géorgie…), de noms de cépages (aleatico, ribolla gialla, mavrotragano, rkatsiteli, zacinjak), ainsi que des histoires fantastiques de popes qui font des vins depuis 1000 ans, de soleras de saké, de vinification en amphore ou de vins blancs faits comme des rouges.”

Photo via Le Cave’s Facebook page

Le Baratin

Food and wine pilgrims are willing to climb the hill for this Belleville institution. Raquel Carena tends the fire, offering her own brand of bistro cooking, sometimes delicate, sometimes hearty, always heartfelt. Her husband Philippe’s wine cellar is one of the best in town, with an emphasis on small independent producers and natural wines. Don’t expect a smile from him, or really anyone else working there, just be glad that this place exists. The lunch menu remains one of the best deals in town.

 An absolute favorite Continue reading Le Baratin

Ô Divin

What started off as a small natural wine bar near the Parc des Buttes Chaumont became in 2013, with the recruitment of chef Mathieu Moity, a more ambitious restaurant serving a Modern French tasting menu on Tuesday-Friday nights. Saturday night reverts to the old wine bar formula – excellent cheese and charcuterie plus oysters and other simple fare. Monday nights are exceptionally fun when the kitchen serves nothing but couscous de porc – an untraditional version with crispy suckling pig and vegetables that haven’t been simmered into oblivion. Owner and natural wine lover Naoufel Zaïm maintains a lengthy list of interesting bottles, but he’ll also pour glass by glass to let you discover new wines. The dining room is tiny, but in nice weather the doors open onto an interior courtyard that makes for one of Paris’ most charming outdoor patios. A local and friendly vibe, thanks to the out-of-the-way location.

 An absolute favorite

Continue reading Ô Divin

Vivant Table

Pierre Jancou has relaunched Vivant Table with chef Sota (ex-Troisgros, Robuchon, Stella Maris & Toyo) at the helm and more ambitious menus at 29/39€ at lunch and 55€ at dinner. There’s also a carte blanch menu with 7-8 dishes (no choice). The wine remains all-natural, but the cooking is better than ever. Update: Jancou sold Vivant Table and Vivant Cave in December 2013 to the owners of Racines.

Continue reading Vivant Table

Pierre Jancou spanks magazine for “fradulent” free meal request

Pierre Jancou is many things: a lover of food, an ambassador of natural wine, and (as we learned this week) a former male model. He is also (as we learned from last year’s exchange with F-R Gaudry) a man with a temper.

On October 19, Jancou received an email from the secretary to Jean-Paul Ludot, the Directeur Général of Marie-Claire, announcing that Vivant had been selected to feature as his favorite restaurant of the month. This was paired with a request for the boss man (and a guest) to eat for free.

Jancou replied that he had never in 24 years invited a journalist to eat for free and that he found such a request to be “louche et frauduleuse.” Ludot himself responded that this was a “very classic approach to test restaurant menus and write articles.” He then cited the number of Marie-Claire readers and told Jancou that he would remove Vivant from their selection. “You are the only one to react this way… and as aggressively,” he continued in a follow-up reply. He went on to say that Jancou was “stingy.”

How do I know all this? Because Jancou forwarded the email chain to me (and many others) on October 21. I giggled and emailed him my reply, but another recipient, Bruno Verjus, published the entire correspondence on his blog Food Intelligence. That gave rise to stories in Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Figaro, L’Express and other major media outlets.

In response, Marie-Claire has issued an official apology for Ludot’s “personal error.” Ludot himself has apologized for his “clumsiness” and assured us that his “attitude has been shifted.”

The greater shifts, however, are in the balance of power between old and new media, and between restaurants and journalists. Ludot’s boast to Jancou that “others have understood that it was an opportunity to put forward their establishment in a major magazine… with 500,000 readers” reveals an (unsurprising) unawareness of the fact that Jancou doesn’t need him.

Restaurants, if they are any good, have already been written and written about. Journalists have little to offer in the way of “exposure” to restaurants that are already full every night. The days of free meals, for the writer (and their bosses) are surely coming to an end. Maybe even for Pudlo.


Paris food & wine events for the weekend of December 10-12


Free Wine Tastings

  • December 10 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” tasting with wine and cheese from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • December 11 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free tasting of suggested holiday wines, “Noël provençal: quels vins pour le sublimer?” From 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
  • December 11 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free tasting with Isabelle Champart from Mas Champart (Saint-Chinian), Jean Gardiés (Cotes du Roussillon Villages) and Champagne maker Franck Pascal, who will be pouring the prize-winning Sagesse Brut Nature and other bubbles. From 11am-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.

Paid Wine Tastings

  • December 10-11 (Friday & Saturday) at the Carrousel du Louvre: Le Grand Tasting, a two-day tasting event hosted by Bettane & Desseauve and featuring winemakers from all over France, including many top producers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne (consult list here). The price of entry is €20 for one day and €25 for both days and includes a Riedel wine glass for tasting. From 10:30am-8:30pm on Friday and 10:30am-7:30pm on Saturday at 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001.

Continue reading Paris food & wine events for the weekend of December 10-12