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Le Repaire de Cartouche

Le Repaire de Cartouche Restaurant in Paris | Paris By MouthThis simple bistro has for years been a favorite among wine lovers, who arrive hoping to plumb the depths of Rodolphe Paquin’s cellar. Whether you taste something from the carte, or persuade Paquin to share an off-list treasure from his cave, wine is undoubtedly the highlight of any experience here. Paquin’s terrines are also extraordinary. He’s written a book about the subject and sells them whole in ceramic crocks to go. In autumn and winter, this is the place to go for wild game. Everything else here is pretty average, except for the service, which is atrocious. Two different tables stormed out during my most recent visit. What saves the experience for some is the joyful welcome from Paquin, the affable host (some ladies might say too affable) who greats regulars like long lost friends. Since I’ve been coming for years, I get a squeeze and a smile but still suffer through the terrible service… no one is safe. Visitors to Paris who can’t cite a winemaker connection or who haven’t yet been introduced will most likely be ignored and wondering why we’ve included this on our site. We’ve included it to reclassify Le Repaire de Cartouche as a great place to sit at the bar without reservations, order wine with a slab of terrine, and wait for your table to open up at Au Passage. It’s still great fun as a wine bar, even if it can no longer deliver as a restaurant.

Fish (La Boissonnerie)

This popular restaurant and wine bar run by Drew Harre and Juan Sanchez is a sort of Anglo haven, excellent for a quick glass, a solo dinner at the bar, or for those times when you’re just tired of speaking French. The wine list is populated by small producers, many of them organic and bio-dynamic, with fair prices and plenty of options by the glass. They’re open every day, and we often find ourselves here on a Sunday or Monday when so many other restaurants are closed. Compared to their sister restaurant Semilla, the more gastronomic option across the street, Fish is the reliable bistro and a genuine Saint-Germain institution.

Verjus Bar à Vins

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. Their famous fried chicken is no longer available here, having moved over to Ellsworth, but you can still order small plates to nibble with your wine. Options on the menu right now include 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.

Le Siffleur de Ballons

Sommelier-turned-restaurateur Thierry Bruneau’s versatile and tasteful neighborhood wine bar is a cherished mainstay of the Aligre neighborhood. It’s got a long, lively bar for solo diners, a bevy of small tables for couples and small groups, and a rear room that can be privatized for minor occasions. Managers Tristan Renoux and Frederick Malpart curate the dynamic, well-priced, mostly natural wine selection with an enthusiasm almost unheard of in the Paris hospitality scene. And the bar’s simple menu of salads and gourmet foodstuffs is anchored by a brilliant steak for two, prepared in the kitchen of Bruneau’s restaurant across the road, L’Ebauchoir. Bottles can also be purchased to go. 

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.

Le 116

Practical information

Address: 2 rue Auguste Vacquerie, 75016
Nearest transport: Kléber (6), George V (1)
Hours: Closed Saturday & Sunday; Open Monday-Friday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance for dinner only; Reservations not accepted for lunch
Telephone: 01 47 20 10 45
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Small plates & tapas, Japanese
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

Le Figaro (2015) “Cuisine foisonnante misant sur la braise (poulpe, poulette et ventrèche de porc en brochettes, grillés au barbecue japonais) et la malice: burger de bœuf wagyu, blé façon risotto, calamars en tempura…”

Le Fooding (2015) “Lorsque Le 116 ranime les braises rougeoyantes du sumibiyaki (barbecue) au rare charbon Binchotan, et envoie sur céramiques Mami un tentacule de poulpe grillé à la chair attendrie, un calamar saisi à point, trait de citron et feuilles de persil, une ventrèche de saumon d’Ecosse ou de porc ibérique, une poulette du Pâtis, et de très belles pièces de bœuf wagyu Ozaki servies avec légumes grillés et « frites maison » – de gros quartiers de bintje cuits à l’eau, farinés et mis en friture.”

Photo via Le 116’s Facebook page

La Cave de Belleville

La Cave de Belleville’s unlikely origins sound like the set-up for a knock-knock joke: a pharmacist, a sound engineer, and a gallerist open a cave-à-manger. François Braouezec, Aline Geller, and Thomas Perlmutter deserve a lot of credit for the scale of their ambitions, as La Cave de Belleville, open every day of the week, is at once a wine shop, an épicerie, and a vast, casual wine bar. The airy, well-lit space (a former leather wholesaler) positively bustles at apéro hour, when locals nip in for inexpensive plates of charcuterie, cheese, and canned delicacies. The trio’s limited industry experience is sometimes evident in the inconsistency of the shop’s maximalist selections of wine, spirits, and beer. (Were the wine not mostly natural, it would be hard to call it a “selection”. Filling shelves seems to have been the priority.) But one senses the owners’ intentions are sincere, and the Belleville neighborhood – chaotic, culture-clashy, forever on the cusp of gentrification – stands to benefit greatly from a friendly, accessible social anchor like La Cave de Belleville.

La Cave du Paul Bert

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

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 dynamique (même si parfois carrément éteinte) tout en scrutant le jour le jour d’une petite cuisine d’ardoise, vive, percutante, pertinente, un peu courte dans l’assiette mais généreuse à rappeler que le nouveau comptoir parisien balance aussi bien que les tapas ibères, izakaya nippons et autres cicchetti italiens.”

Le Fooding (2016) “Des charcu-tueries et bien plus, car le chef montréalais, Louis-Philippe Riel, ancien du 6 Paul Bert, fait mieux qu’éponger l’apéro: œuf mayo aux truffes ; dinguerie de ris de veau aux coques et rattes; épaule de cerf braisée aux carottes et aïoli ; génial pressé de queue de bœuf, vinaigrette aux anchois et navets marinés…”

Les Caves de Prague

Parisian wine shops tend to exhibit tunnel vision, often to the point of obsession: either they sell natural/organic/biodynamic wine, or they sell “traditional” wine, and rarely do the twain meet. One sees many of the same wines over, and over, and over again.

Not here. There’s plenty to satisfy any palate or ideology, and what’s more a lot of the labels aren’t the common names littering most modern restaurant lists. Add in a casual vibe, a ton of tables for casual in-store imbibing (with a wonderfully minuscule droit de bouchon), a rather surprising menu of tapas and the usual wine bar comestibles, and there’s finally something new under the Parisian sun.

La Cave à Michel

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

Aux Deux Cygnes

Well-appointed, informal and lightly exotic, rue Keller wine bar Aux Deux Cygnes is the answer for any casual diner looking to drink natural wine and snack on something other than the usual cheese plates and charcuterie. French-Vietnamese owner To Xuân Cuny shuttles between service and the kitchen, where she turns out a tasty array of sandwiches and small plates influenced by both her Vietnamese heritage and her experience in the Michelin-starred restaurant world. The latter means Aux Deux Cygnes is among the cleanest and most hospitable of Paris wine bars. The former finds expression in a tasty banh-mi, as well as some delicately piquant mackerel rillettes that arrive beneath a bright heap of cilantro. The natural wine selection perched amid the bar’s pretty triangular shelving is nicely curated to emphasize atypical grape varieties and marginal regions. If the overall experience at Aux Deux Cygnes can veer towards the dainty at times, it still makes for a welcome change from the mélée of beards and egos one encounters in many more traditional Paris natural wine bars.

La Crèmerie

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 wonders: Albacore tuna from the île d’Yeu, little smoked trout terrine, blood sausage with onions from La Maison Galland in Touraine, authentic ham and Bordier butter sandwich. As for the nectars, glasses of red (Roussilon Tam-Tam du Domaine du Bout du Monde at €7 a glass) and white (Touraine Petit Buisson du Clos du Tue-Boeuf at €7 a glass).”

Ma Cave Fleury

Inexpensive couples of quality grower's champagne served on a nice outdoor terrace overlooking... a gritty street lined with sex clubs and prostitutes. It's quite a combo. The charcuterie and cheese plates are standard, but it's the warm, witty personality of the proprietor and former comedienne Morgane Fleury that is the main draw for those looking for affordable, natural wine.

Le Porte-Pot

Practical information

Address: 14 rue Boutebrie, 75005
Nearest transport: Cluny – La Sorbonne (10), Saint-Michel (RER B&C)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday 6.30pm-2am
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 43 25 24 24
Average price for dinner: 20-34€
Style of cuisine: Wine bar, small plates
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

The Guardian (2010) “There’s an old-fashioned zinc bar, and an ancient vaulted cellar transformed into a dining room…The cuisine is a mix between exotic fusion – imagine whelks with wasabi mayonnaise – and traditional rural food…”

Le Figaro (2008) “…cinquantaine de vins plutôt nature mais sans excès…de simples assiettes bistrotières et des tartines généreuses à partir de bons produits…”

L’Express (2008) “…la maison cueille ses fromages, sa cochonnaille, son andouille fumée au lard ou ses sardines millésimées chez quelques pointures d’artisans. Aucun danger non plus côté cave, bio-naturo-dynamique.”

Photo courtesy of Le Porte Pot’s website

Artisan – NOW CLOSED

NOW CLOSED

Practical information

Address: 14 rue Bochart de Saron, 75009
Nearest transport: Anvers (2)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday
Reservations: Reservations not accepted
Telephone: 01 48 74 65 38
Website  Facebook

Reviews of interest

David Lebovitz (2014) “A big feature of the place is the zinc cocktail bar, where you can get excellent drinks… Bijou came in a slender cocktail glass, and was a delirious blend of gin and Chartreuse… The thinly sliced Iberian ham was a nice treat alongside as was the fried mini croque monsieur, that was perhaps the best I’ve had in Paris.”

Forest Collins (2013) “While Artisan has incorporated some successful trends like small plates, large format drinks (their punch serves four) or bottled cocktails, nothing feels gimmicky or risky. It’s quite simply a well-put together cocktail program that is as nicely balances as Fred’s drinks.”

Emmanuel Rubin (2013) “Un bar de belle civilité où cocktails d’auteur (quasi gourmands) et nourritures de comptoir twistent la canaille.”

Aaron Ayscough (2013) “An appealingly under-designed space with a big broad bar, competent cocktails, decent beer, not enough wine, and an astonishingly successful menu comprising miniaturized version of French classics: roast lamb shoulder, steak tartare, etc… Artisan presents sophisticated drinks and a lively atmosphere without Asian inflections, without caricatured Cali vibes, with no silly hidden doorways, no Mexican themes, and no vile perfumes sprayed on the cocktails – and as such, it represents the inevitable but already-overdue maturation of cocktails and bar culture in Paris. The theme is there is no theme, nor is one needed.”

Timeout (2013) “Sa carte changera toutes les deux semaines, en fonction de l’humeur du barmaid et de la chef, des fruits et légumes de saison de prime qualité. Un menu mettant l'”artisanat” des boissons et des ingrédients à l’honneur… En cas de fringale, vous piocherez des plats mitonnés à partir d’ingrédients de saison, une cuisine de marché hyper fraîche. On salive devant la bruschetta de tomates confites aux fraises et parmesan de vache rousse, suivie d’une épaule d’agneau du Quercy confite, avec son caviar d’aubergine à la flamme. Les desserts sont tout aussi tentants.”

Photo courtesy of Artisan’s Facebook

Caves Legrand

A jewel box merchant in the beautiful Galerie Vivienne, Legrand specializes in the great and worthy of vinous France. Many of the shelves are taken up by wines that would be special occasion bottles for most drinkers, and safe bets for tradition-minded lovers of traditional wines. There are some surprises here and there, but this is not a funky natural wine dive. Prices aren’t exactly the lowest in the city, and the ambient temp runs a bit warm, but the space is majestic.

The store (with tables that spread out into the hallway) doubles as a wine bar/light bites restaurant, offering wine by the glass or off the shelf for a reasonable uncorking fee, and it’s worth noting that of all the many places in Paris that offer the same, Legrand has some of the nicest stemware.

Bellota-Bellota

Practical information

Address: 18 rue Jean-Nicot, 75007
Nearest transport: La Tour Maubourg (8)
Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday all day
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 53 59 96 96
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Spanish, small plates
Website   Facebook

Additional Locations

Address: 11 rue Clément Marot, 75008
Nearest transport: Alma – Marceau (9)
Hours: Closed Sunday; Open Monday-Saturday all day
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 47 20 03 13

Address: 64 rue de Seine, 75006
Nearest transport: Mabillon (10)
Hours: Open every day all day
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone01 46 33 49 54

Reviews of interest

These reviews are from the rue Clément Marot location:

Le Fooding (2012) “At this small tasting bar where a few tables are squeezed between the walls lined with wine bottles and the meat in the windows, the said leg of great quality is sliced thin in little pieces, tenderly warmed by a central candle, before melting on the palate, served with crushed tomatoes and bread from Kayser or Poujauran. The other crushed dish, the mashed potatoes with bits of chorizo, is excellent, presented in a small heart-shaped plate that gives a somewhat weird romantic twist to the cocktail-dinner between friends…

These reviews are from the rue Jean-Nicot location:

David Lebovitz (2010) “The ham is sublime and goes great with the other Spanish appetizers they serve at this casual restaurant.”

Le Figaro (2009) “… le plus accueillant des points de chute en début de soirée, avec son long comptoir et ses tables hautes, ses jambons extraordinaires pour lesquels nous sommes nombreux à avoir traversé Paris, son pain de chez Poujauran, ses assiettes de chorizo…”

Chocolate & Zucchini (2005) “It is always cause for elation to discover a new source for superior sandwich indulgence…”

Photo by loran via Flickr

Septime Cave

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.

Le Vin au Vert

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.

Quedubon

You can call Quedubon a bistro or a wine bar or a cave. All apply to this address near the beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The simple food ranges from light (capriccios of fresh fish) to homey (braised meats) to downright offal (veal brains), and is washed down by one of the vins naturels that populate the impressive wine list maintained by Gilles Bénard. Owing in part to the non-central location, there’s a village-like feeling to this friendly place. You can also buy bottles to go.

Maison Claudel Vin et Whisky

This wonderful place is both a shop and tasting space for the Claudel’s dual obsessions, wine and whisky. The shop sells 300 references for each, and those who want to sip on the spot can choose between 24 wines and 80 whiskeys by the glass. Leather club chairs and a selection of small bites make this a great stop before dinner nearby. 

Dans Les Landes – NOW CLOSED

NOW CLOSED

Former Address: 119 bis rue Monge, 75005

Reviews of interest

Hipsters in Paris (2013) “Chipirones, duck hearts, potted boudin noir, deep fried Camembert, generous charcuterie plates and crunchy croquettes are just some of the dishes you will see on the chalkboard menu. And they are far, far more generous than their pricing suggests, a welcome departure from anorexic share plates that tend to go hand in hand with ‘wine bars’. Food coma for under €25 per head.”

John Talbott (2013) “New (sort of) but great (really) menu.”

Sophie Brissaud (2012) “C’est toujours agréable de s’asseoir au zinc pour boire un petit verre (cette fois, un tursan rouge bien croquant) et grignoter les dernières nouveautés proposées par Julien. Tout est délicieux…Certaines tapas valent bien la traversée de Paris.”

Alexander Lobrano (2011) “Among its other attractions, and they’re many, Dans Les Landes is a very friendly place…deep fried chipirons (baby squid), baby clams with chick peas and avocado, the best little barbecued pork ribs I’ve ever eaten in Paris…and doubtless a dish or two that I don’t remember.”

François-Régis Gaudry for L’Express (2011) “On ne l’a pas vue venir, celle-là. On aurait même eu du mal à la prendre au sérieux, si on était tombé dessus par hasard, avec son air de néo-brasserie fêtarde pour sorbonnards en mal de sangria et son écran plat hurlant le dernier Bayonne-Stade français…. Il y a forcément un chef, un vrai, derrière cette tournée ripailleuse.”

Barbra Austin – Girls’ Guide to Paris (2011) “This place is best enjoyed with a group around one of the high communal tables. The small plates are actually fairly generous…croquettes of polenta with smoked duck, fantastic finger food. Chipirons (baby squid, also fried) were served in a wooden clog…There are plenty of wines by the glass to wash all of this down.”

Aaron Ayscough (2011) “As befits a meal consisting mostly of salty drunk food, we tore into the wine list. DansLes Landes’ is what I would classify as an eminently tolerable wine list. It’s fairly priced, with quite a few good selections, and maintains an admirable focus on wines from the southwest, an area that gets consistently overlooked on most decent wine lists.”

Patricia Wells (2011) “…full of varied tapas-style tastes from France’s southwest, including meaty grilled quail breasts; tender fried chipirions (baby squid) sprinkled with a touch of sweet pepper…Sip a glass of white Irouleguy, and enjoy!”

Sébastien Demorand (2011) “…rafale de bouchées impeccables (chipirons frits d’enfer, délicatement servis — mais oui — dans un sabot, rouleau de printemps de salade landaise et vinaigrette truffée, travers de porc confits puis laqués avec une sauce barbecue géante…), et en partant, une certitude: ce Camdeborde junior va mettre le feu au quartier.”

John Talbott (2011) “…a long chalkboard of tapas…daily specials…and an awesome list of desserts.”

L’Entrée des Artistes Pigalle

Practical information

Address: 30 rue Victor Massé, 75009
Nearest transport: Pigalle (2,12)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 09 67 27 37 44
Average price for a cocktail: 13€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Small plates & tapas
Website   Facebook   Book Online

Reviews of interest

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2015) “I can’t think of another city on earth where such a polished, borderline nightclubby space would house a radical wine program like Vermynck’s. His selection remains unapologetically fringe-natural, but now the raw, untutored wines of Philippe Jambon‘s acolytes share layout space with maîtres like Pierre Overnoy… I can’t shake the feeling that the cuisine is just not yet as sharp as it was at the last location, however.”

L’Express (2015) “… des cocktails premium (mention pour le Chicharito à base de tequila, concombre et miel d’agave infusé aux épices) et des assiettes miniformat: céleri façon carbo, ravioli de shiitaké… Passé 23 heures, le son monte de plusieurs décibels et l’ambiance s’échauffe.”

52 Martinis (2015) “L’Entrée des Artistes Pigalle, delivers the same hat trick of food, wine and cocktails but in a dramatically different SoPi space… The entire menu looks more to focus on cocktail quality rather than cutting edge.”

Le Fooding (2015) “S’en dégage un parfum de polar à L.A., un pousse-à-siroter du raide sur Missin’ Persons Bureau de Womack & Womack : des trucs au rhum, vermouth et grains de café infusés (Altura negroni), au cognac, rye, bitter et liqueur de tabac (Mon vieux tabac) ou à la vodka, jus de betterave, citrons et cordial au gingembre (Fat Beets)… Pour grignoter à la bougie des assiettes de circonstance: truite mi-cuite, anchoiade, grenade et herbes; carpaccio de veau et tapenade de haddock; seiche, aubergine brûlée, sauce thaïe; poireaux vinaigrette, moules et chips de sarrasin; huîtres d’Utah Beach, foie gras ou jambon de bœuf de Galice; ricotta, poires pochées et caramel à plonger le nez dans le bol…”

Reviews from the prior location

Le Figaro (2013) “Un lieu à la croisée des genres entre bar à cocktails, cave à manger et club d’habitués, où l’on se dispute la vingtaine de places disponibles, jusque tard dans la nuit. Très beau choix de vins, cocktails pleins de style et bonne bistrote familiale.”

World’s Best Bars (2011) “The cocktails tend towards the innovative but they’re happy to dish up the classics on request – the super friendly service is part of the appeal. The food menu is compact, but the dishes are tasty (try the cheese or charcuterie plates if you’re in the mood for a snack) and you have the comfort of knowing that they’re keeping it in the family – the food is all made by the sommelier’s mum.”

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2011) “…alongside a boldly curated natural wine list, a list of cocktails that is the equal of any in the city…”

52 Martinis (2011) “…a relaxed, low key, pint-sized cocktail bar with a significant food and wine list as well…Given the care that’s going into these drinks, L’Entrée des Artistes currently rates as one of Paris’ best values for money in cocktail options.”

Photos courtesy of Jacquelyn Rosenfeld

Vivant

First there was Vivant (opened next door in 2011). Then Pierre Jancou opened this space in 2012, calling it Vivant Cave. Both spaces have since been sold, but this wine bar has retained the name Vivant (dropping the word “cave”). We suppose the confusion has kept wine lovers coming in, but we haven’t been back yet under the new ownership.

Practical information

Address43 rue des Petites-Ecuries, 75010
Nearest transport: Château d’Eau (4)
Hours: Closed Saturday & Sunday; Open Monday-Friday for dinner only till late
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 42 46 43 55
Average price for lunch€20-39
Average price for dinner€20-39
Style of cuisine: Small plates & tapas
Website   Facebook

Reviews of Interest

These reviews date from before Vivant was sold. 

Le Fooding (2014) “Vivant n’est pas mort pour autant, bien au contraire… Sa carte ? Simplissime en apparence.”

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “Forstorp’s characterful presence almost singlehandedly makes Vivant Cave a destination, paradoxically the best new restaurant of the much-fêted, meaningless rentrée without even being a new restaurant.”

Note: Pierre Jancou, the owner mentioned in the reviews below, sold the restaurant in January 2014.

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2012) “It’s a cave-à-manger

 restauranty sort of thing… the space is sort of a tricked-out pantry, the are just eleven table seats, and prices are precisely where they used to be at the old Vivant, which is to say they’re fair for what one receives, but a notch higher than the wine-bistrot norm.”

Les Fines Gueules

On a lovely corner near the Place des Victoires, Les Fines Gueules serves quality product in simple-but-good preparations. One of the best hand cut steak tartares in the city. The wine list is overwhelmingly natural, and there’s a handful of tables outside for sipping on the sidewalk on warm summer nights. Warning: many readers have raised concerns about the service (see comments below).

– Meg Zimbeck, 2013