Tag Archives: natural wine

Les Caves de Reuilly

Dynamic young Bretonne Pierre le Nen took the helm of this well-regarded neighborhood wine shop in February 2014 and promptly turned it into one of Paris’ most welcoming terraced wine bars, where an impressively wide selection of natural wines and their more conventional forbears can be enjoyed with zero corkage fee. For anyone peckish, plates of cheese and charcuterie are available, along with an array of tinned and jarred rillettes and the like. Le Nen also stocks an indulgent wall of whisky and a respectable range of French craft beer.

Les Caves de Reuilly’s out-of-the-way location in the 12ème arrondissement ensures an ambience worlds apart from the bustle and hype of more central neighbourhoods: here instead are bands of quality-conscious, budget-conscious Parisians, enjoying honest, inexpensive wine, each other’s company, and the cool evening air. Be sure to ask the staff if the terrace looks full – as often as not, they’re able to simply whip out another table and some chairs for newcomers.

— Aaron Ayscough, February 2016

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Le Cave

Longtime Le Chateaubriand sommelier Sebastien Chatillon opened this tiny wine shop in 2013. Sandwiched between Le Dauphin and Le Chateaubriand, Le Cave is a narrow space and a deceptively narrow concept: it sells only no-holds-barred natural wines from outside of France. Expect exotic glass selections ranging from skin-macerated Slovenian Malvasia to Assyrtiko from Santorini. While it may contain less intrinsic interest for visitors wishing to discover French wines while in Paris, Le Cave’s most ingenious selling point is its surprisingly involved plat du jour program, a rotating nightly dish for take-out only prepared in the kitchen of Le Chateaubriand. Octopus tandoori? Chakchouka(North African ragù)? We’d expect nothing less from Inaki Aizpitarte’s idea of comfort food. And if nothing else,  Le Cave functions as a cosy, well-run waiting room for anyone in line for a table at its neighbours.

Chatillon is soon to depart for the south of France to begin a winemaking project, but will continue to run the selection at Le Cave, aided by managing partner Paul Braillard.

— Aaron Ayscough, December 2015

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Les Caves du Panthéon

Situated on a perpetually shaded nook just paces from the Panthéon, Les Caves du Panthéon’s boxy wooden room is wedged floor-to-ceiling with the cream of contemporary French natural winemaking, supplemented with a healthy stock of allocated classics from the Rhône, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Current owner Olivier Roblin began working at the historic wine shop (founded in 1944) in 2001, before purchasing the business in 2009. He’s known for his longtime support of natural vinification, and his close relationships with many cult winemakers are evident in Les Caves du Panthéon’s 1000+ references. When, say, Jura winemaker Jean-François Ganevat makes a one-off cuvée for the French natural wine website Glougueule, here is where you’ll find it. Les Caves du Panthéon, along with nearby historic natural wine hotspot Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, make this flush, studenty corner of the 5ème an unlikely destination for anyone interested in the vanguard of French wine.

— Aaron Ayscough, December 2015

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Faggio

Practical information

Address: 72 rue de Rochechouart, 75009
Nearest transport: Anvers (2)
Hours: Closed Monday & Tuesday; Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 40 37 44 02
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 
Style of cuisine: Italian & pizza
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

Alexander Lobrano (2015) “At Faggio, it wasn’t that anyone was unfriendly, but rather that no one was going to acknowledge that you’d had a long wait before being fed. And of course the wine list was really top-heavy in terms of pricing, since the only way to make the rent if you’re running a pizzeria in Paris is to sell a good amount of pricey wine.”

Figaroscope (2015) “Une dizaine de recettes à la carte (dont trois blanches), certaines faisant preuve d’une louable originalité, comme la Diavola, notre préférée, à base de sauce tomate, fior di latte, Nduja, oignons rouges, mozza fumée, saucisse piquante et pousses de moutarde, ou l’étonnante Vulcano, pizza farcie aux légumes ronde (et pas en demi-lune, comme le calzone classique). Résultat? Une pâte fine et croustillante, légèrement brûlée par endroits, et une garniture, sourcée avec soin, top qualité.”

Paris Bouge (2015) “Les pizzas de Gioacchino Loria, un ex d’Il Brigante : une marque de reconnaissance qui éloigne tout soupçon de déception. Finesse extrême, croûte qui craquelle, brûlures réjouissantes par endroits, la pâte de ces pizzas est une vraie divinité. La sauce tomate, puissamment ensoleillée, est un modèle du genre.”

L’Express (2015) “quand Fabien Lombardi, ex-bartender et cofondateur de l’Entrée des artistes, ouvre une pizzeria, il en résulte un loft brut de travaux doté d’un four à bois -du faggio (hêtre)- dompté avec dextérité par Gioacchino Loria, un pizzaiolo calabrais hors pair.”

Photo courtesy of Faggio’s Facebook page

Crus et Découvertes

The rue Paul Bert – home to acclaimed restaurants by Bertrand Auboyneau and by Cyril Lignac – also contains this beloved, insidery natural wine shop, opened in 2003 by former wine agent Michael Lemasle. The narrow, slipshod space is perpetually overrun with new deliveries and Lemasle’s loyal clientele, who endure the proprietor’s relaxed, almost narcoleptic pace for the sake of his soft-spoken and well-considered wine counsel. Lemasle specialises in the more extreme fringe of natural wine, including many small-production wines vinified and bottled without the addition of sulfur. The well-priced selection is heavy on wines from the Loire, Beaujolais, and the southwest, while wines from marquee regions like Champagne, Bordeaux and Chablis are rather scarce on the shelves. One last draw: Lesmasle is among the rare Parisian cavistes who perform the true duties of the role, cellaring wines for years at a stretch at either of his two off-site locations before returning them to the sales floor when the wines have matured. Crus et Découvertes accordingly remains a source of fun discoveries even for the most jaded natural wine aficionados.

– Aaron Ayscough, October 2015

Practical information

Address: 7 rue Paul Bert , 75011
Nearest transport: Faidherbe-Chaligny (8) or Charonne (9)
Hours: Closed Sunday
Telephone: 01 43 71 56 79

Reviews of interest

More Than Organic (2014) “Mikael Lemasle est un jeune caviste passionné dont la réputation grandit pour l’excellence de sa sélection de vins naturels.”

GQ France (2014) “Michaël Lemasle n’aime pas les vins «maquillés», que ce soit par la chimie, la technologie, le soufre ou le bois. Et pour tout dire, il aime les vins fins et qui se boivent facilement!”

Girl’s Guide to Paris (2014) “Another store specializing in natural wines and partnering with independent producers to bring them to Parisians.”

Au Passage

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 Rubis

Practical information

Address: 14 rue Léopold Bellan, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance
Telephone: 09 84 39 42 49
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Classic French
Facebook   Book Online

Reviews of interest

Figaroscope (2014) “Adieu à l’Hédoniste (dommage!), remplacé illico presto par ce repaire s’essayant au genre du café populaire. Las, l’assiette besogne trop pour emporter conviction et enthousiasme.”

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “A  refined, contemporary bistrot with the confidence and smarts to remain simple… Thrill-seeking critics might find the menu a bit ho-hum. Tant pis for them. I’d deem it a rare example of an unself-conscious, quality-oriented contemporary bistrot menu.”

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.”

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

Parties

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