For the wine-indifferent, Café de la Nouvelle Mairie is merely a timeless, picturesque terraced café on a shady lane beside the Panthéon. But for alert wine geeks, it might as well be the Panthéon itself, as pertains to natural wine.
Small Sharable Plates
This restaurant has gone through plenty of changes since James Henry and the letter B departed (it used to be called Bones), but Jones is currently having a moment. Owner Florent Ciccoli recently partnered with longtime Jones sommelier Damien Lacour and the talented Abbruzzese chef Riccardo Ferrante, sparking a renaissance at this storied address. The dining room is now packed, with (mostly) locals flocking to taste Ferrante’s small plates and pastas. They’re also there to drink from Lacour’s “long wine list that… Read More »Jones
Clamato is a seafood-focused small plates restaurant from Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. Expect pristine marinated fish, platters of oysters, silky crab fritters (accrabes), and maple syrup pie for dessert. Wines are natural and well-selected, just like at Septime.
Chef Erica Parades opened this brick and mortar spot in 2022 after a stretch spent organizing pop-ups for her Filipino fusion cuisine. You’ll find fried chicken and what Emily Monaco described as the ultimate umami bomb – a dish of grilled hispi cabbage topped with sesame and gochujang-spiced mayonnaise and studded with bottarga shards.
A bare bones room lined with shelves of natural wines, a tiny kitchen turning out simple and dishes; this doesn’t immediately feel like the kind of place a person would cross town for. And yet many do. Booking is imperative.
Denizens of eastern Paris feel lucky to live near Chanceux, an all-day café, restaurant, wine shop and épicerie that opened last year near the utterly charming Square Gardette. For breakfast you can get a fresh baguette with butter and homemade jam for 5 euros, or a wonderful plate with ham, Cantal cheese, a soft-boiled egg and toasts with buckwheat butter for 10 euros. For lunch, you can try the za’atar dusted brioche with hokkaido squash and chiles or a small… Read More »Chanceux
Les Enfants du Marché, a modern & creative restaurant located within the open-air Marché des Enfants Rouges market in the upper Marais, is a dining counter known for natural wine and avant-garde cuisine. While the seating on bar stools in the bustling market might suggest a more lowbrow offering, the unforgettable plates evoke a far more fine dining affair (an evocation reflected in the highbrow prices). It is one of our favorite Paris restaurants.
One of the most fun restaurants in Paris can be found at the end of a cobblestone alley on the southern edge of Père Lachaise cemetery. Amagat, which means “hidden” in Catalan, requires some effort to find, but the experience is more than worth it. There’s a beautiful garden, but in the winter you’ll want to take a seat inside at the long counter where you can watch them prepare small plates (tapas) like ham croquetas, lamb chops marinated in… Read More »Amagat
There are so many casual wine bars serving good food in eastern Paris. Bouche stands out from the crowd because they’re a little more spacious, their staff is a smidge more friendly, and the dishes are a lot more interesting. It’s a wine bar in the 11th for people who are no longer in their twenties (like me). Open Sunday! We included Bouche among our 50 Favorite Restaurants in 2022. BOUCHE 85 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011Open Wednesday-Saturday for dinner onlyOpen… Read More »Bouche
In a city dominated by kitchens that send shared small plates out the instant they’re ready – even if that means diners must resort to balancing the bread basket on their knees – rare is the gem that gets the category right: service that’s casual but still attentive, with plates that are simple yet surprising. Candide strikes that balance marvelously: a small plates restaurant that feels like a restaurant, from the expert service to the delightful, creative dishes. The small dining room… Read More »Candide
A restaurant run by a chef-in-residence is a difficult thing to review, but we’re gonna try. Welcoming a slate of visiting chefs from across the world, Early June is an airy, no-reservations restaurant just off the Canal Saint-Martin boasting a robust natural wine “list” (Yes, this is the sort of place where you’ll have to fight – hard – to see what’s on offer and may just have to capitulate and trust the somm). The funky-or-funkier wines accompany a selection of seasonal small plates… Read More »Early June
Le Grand Bain was founded by chef Ed Delling-Williams (Au Passage, St-John) and has been reliably offering one of the most comprehensive menus of small plates in the capital on the vibrant rue Denoyez, just off the rue de Belleville. There have been many chef changes (his successor Emily Chia has also passed on), but some things seem remain the same: a funky list of natural bottles; friendly service that’s present without ever being obtrusive; a lengthy menu of offerings… Read More »Le Grand Bain
While a chorus of Bonsoir, bienvenue! still sounds the moment you walk through the door at Vivant 2, these days, it’s underscored by a bop-filled soundtrack and service with a smile that make a seat at the open kitchen’s wrap-around bar feel more inviting than austere. Chef Rob Mendoza is a champion of delicate, plant-focused fare, his luscious, creative moles drape anything and everything from broccoli to Bresse hen. Elsewhere, he effortlessly blends international ingredients with French terroir: House-made potato flatbread is spread thickly with tahini and blanketed with swiss chard; tuna is served with a Korean gochujang-spiked tomato broth. This restaurant is a great option for vegetarians and is open on Monday nights. A curated list of natural and sustainable wines seals the deal.
Lovers of natural wine and plant-driven small plates positively bursting with flavor have found their home at Petit Navire – a tiny, nautically-themed restaurant near the Parc de Belleville. This restaurant serves a panoply of internationally-inspired dishes that skew Mediterranean: Think accras with turmeric yogurt, zucchini “meatballs” with fresh herbs and lemon, or slow-cooked lamb with Paimpol beans. Roasted eggplant is a frequent flier, thanks to mastery of the nightshade by Canadian Chef Lily Hu (ex-Ellsworth); no matter its topping… Read More »Petit Navire
Pompette is a small plates restaurant boasting a natural wine list from Australian sommelière Jess Hodges. Chef Jordan Robinson’s modest menu is mostly pescatarian with international and North American influences ranging from curry-spiked cockles to fried chicken with white barbecue sauce. Reservations are a must, whether for one of the 28 indoor seats or the dozen on the terrace.
In 2016, the team from Saturne took over a historic bar near the Cirque d’Hiver and installed chef Sota Atsumi (ex-Vivant) in the kitchen. Atsumi’s dishes dominated Instagram for a solid two years, and Clown Bar became one of the town’s most difficult reservations to snag. The Saturne team (and restaurant) has since dissolved amid rumors of wine theft and partner animosity. Atsumi has moved on to open Maison. Clown Bar remains open, and Atsumi’s iconic creations, including the brain and… Read More »Clown Bar
Address: 1 bis passage de Saint Sébastien, 75011Hours: Open Monday-Saturday for dinner. Closed Sunday.Telephone: +33 1 43 55 07 52Book Online / Website / Facebook / Instagram Our Most Recent Visit 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… Read More »Au Passage
A simple spot where you can taste bottles of excellent natural wines alongside a few small plates from proprietor Camille Fourmont, formerly the bar manager at Le Dauphin. Not to be confused with the other Buvette, this off-the-beaten path bar (that is technically a shop where you can buy bottles) was selected as the Best Cave à Manger by Le Fooding.
Freddy’s is a great call when you want to share some delicious nibbles and great wine while perched on a stool, especially at odd hours or on Sunday and Monday when many other places are closed.
This tiny space near the Palais Royal functions functions both as a neighborhood wine bar and as a holding tank for those waiting for their table at the restaurant upstairs. The printed wine list is filled with so many interesting bottles, and the ever-changing chalkboard list has plenty of options by the glass. The food options have changed several times over the years. Options on the menu might include fried chicken, veal tartare, house-made pork and duck terrine with pistachios, and warm Mont d’Or cheese with pickled mushrooms. Groups of more than two will have a hard time squeezing in, but the intimate space is perfect for an apéro before dinner upstairs or elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Just steps from the train tracks leading to and from the Saint-Lazare train station, Gare au Gorille is the new project from two Septime alums, Marc Cordonnier (Grébaut’s former sous-chef) and his front-of-house partner Louis Langevin. With a hip hop soundtrack and aspirations no grander than to be a good bistro, the quality of food they are putting out will nonetheless attract the sort of globetrotting gastronome crowd that they are fleeing from at Septime. Lunch on a cold December day was a study in simplicity and… Read More »Gare au Gorille
Practical information Address: 16 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Nearest transport: Rue des Boulets (9), Charonne (9), Faidherbe-Chaligny (8) Hours: Open every day Reservations: Reservations not accepted Telephone: 01 58 53 50 92 Average price for lunch: 10-19€ Average price for dinner: 10-19€ Style of cuisine: Small plates A photo posted by Paris by Mouth (@parisbymouth) on May 25, 2016 at 7:47am PDT Reviews of interest Le Figaro (2016) “À la Cave Paul Bert, les coudes contemporains trouvent à lever les classiques et les inattendus de cette vigne dite… Read More »La Cave du Paul Bert
There is no real “Michel” behind La Cave à Michel – the name of this lively, standing-room-only Belleville wine bar uses the name in its French sense of “everyman.” And indeed, the bar is as welcoming and informal as its product standards are rigorous and precise. The product of a friendly collaboration between caviste Fabrice Mansouri and Romain and Maxime Tischenko, the brothers behind next door tasting-menu restaurant Le Galopin, La Cave à Michel rivals the Left Bank’s L’Avant Comptoir for the best Parisian cuisine you’ll eat standing up. Romain Tischenko reins in his more maximalist impulses in the bar’s tiny kitchen, and turns out small plates of jewel-like delicacy: beef tartare beneath ricotta salata, bass céviche, or mozzarella with salmon roe. Mansouri’s selection of natural wines is well-considered and well-priced. If service can become a little sluggish at times, it’s because the bar is reliably packed with restaurant industry regulars and Mansouri has a gift for banter. Serious cuisine is rarely this fun.
— Aaron Ayscough, January 2016
Practical information Address: 4 bis rue du 4 Septembre, 75002 Nearest transport: Bourse (3) Hours: Open every day Reservations: Reservations not accepted for the tapas bar, but book a few weeks in advance for the upstairs restaurant Telephone: 01 47 03 91 91 Average price for lunch: 10-19€ at the tapas bar and 20-39€ in the restaurant Average price for dinner: 20-39€ at the tapas bar or 60-100€ in the restaurant Style of cuisine: Basque, small plates & tapas Website Facebook [slideshow_deploy… Read More »A Noste
Practical information Address: 9 rue des Quatre-Vents, 75006 Nearest transport: Odéon (4, 10) Hours: Closed Sunday and for Monday lunch. Open for wine sales and as a wine bar from 11am-2:30pm and from 6-10:30pm. Reservations: Strongly recommended for dinner because the small, intimate space often fills up Telephone: 01 43 54 99 30 Average price for lunch: 10-19€ Average price for dinner: 20-34€ Style of cuisine: classic French, small plates Website Reviews of interest Le Fooding (2013) “The little bites are… Read More »La Crèmerie
Septime’s Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat converted a shoe-repair shop to open this intimate, impeccably-designed wine bar just around the corner from their renowned restaurant. The well-informed staff serve a limited menu of exquisite small plates (ranging from cheeses and cured meats to foie gras stuffed with smoked eel) alongside a sizeable selection of well-priced natural wines from France and abroad.
On any given evening a mixed crowd of locals and tourists – some waiting for tables at Clamato, others just enjoying apéro-hour – perch on bar stools and repurposed grocery crates, mingling to a soundtrack of reggae and vintage jazz classics. For years more a way-station than an outright destination, Septime Cave has since summer 2015 been open for business on Sundays, rendering it all the more indispensable to the rue de Charonne neighborhood.
Wine afficionados Etienne Lucan and Sebastien Obert opened this bare-bones cave-à-manger in 2009, having put in time on the floor at Cali-transplant Kevin Blackwell’s only-slightly-less bare-bones restaurant Autour d’Un Verre. Years later, Lucan and Obert oversee one of Paris’ most surprisingly excellent and affordable wine selections. Their prices remain well-suited to the location on the sketchier side of the 9ème arrondissement, but their natural wine selection, heavy on grower Champagne and the wines of allocated cult vignerons like Jean-François Ganevat and Eric Pfifferling, would make mouths water in any tonier district. During apéro and dinner hours, the tables are reliably full of locals enjoying simple cheese and charcuterie plates, or one of the restaurant’s limited main courses (typically a choice between chicken and a sausage). Le Vin Au Vert is a discreet destination for anyone for whom food is an accompaniment to wine, not vice versa.
This wine bar next door to Le Chateaubriand boasts a smooth marble design by Rem Koolhaas and Clement Blanchet, and a great selection of affordable vins naturels. It was recently sold by Iñaki Aizpitarte. 131 avenue Parmentier, 75011 Open Tuesday-Friday for lunch & dinner Open Saturday for dinner only Closed Sunday & Monday REVIEWS OF INTEREST Simon Says (2012) “C’est très ludique, allusif. Parfois, on voudrait que le morceau dure plus longtemps. Mais l’air du temps se veut ainsi : concis, net, sans… Read More »Le Dauphin