One of our Top 50 Paris Restaurants (small sharable plates). If you want a taste of Gregory Marchand’s cooking without the challenge of scoring a reservation at Frenchie, this sister wine bar is a great option. However, there are caveats. A victim of its own popularity, Frenchie Bar à Vins is often chaotic, loud, and (for folks who don’t wish to perch on stools) a little uncomfortable. But chaos and noise, when combined with creative and delicious small plates, not to mention a fascinating wine list, can combine to make for some wonderfully memorable evenings. You shouldn’t go if you need to be seated and fed right away, or if you’re not willing to flag down a friendly server to beg for what you need. Go for rowdy fun, and by all means go early, like right when they open at 6:30pm. Either that, or after the major rush passes, after 10pm. Arrive during peak hours and you can expect to wait for a fairly long time out on the cobblestones.
Frenchie currently holds the #5 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus under 100€. Frenchie was wonderful – so good that you felt you were getting away with something – back when it opened in 2009. Then the tiny restaurant landed on every journalists’ “best of” list and was featured in every food travel show you can name. It became difficult, very difficult, to get a table. It became a challenge to even get through on the phone. This is when people stop rooting for a restaurant. This is when people begin to wonder whether it’s worth it, and honestly, is any restaurant really worth begging and pleading for? We’ve heard so many disappointed rants about Frenchie from people who suffered to get their table and felt unrewarded for the effort. We sympathize, but that’s not how we experience Frenchie. We go for lunch on Thursday or Friday, when it’s relatively easy to book. Or we make plans to go to their wine bar across the street and pop in to let the restaurant hostess know that we’d be happy to swoop in if there are any no-shows (this often works). When you don’t have to struggle to get in, it’s possible to experience Frenchie in the way that Greg Marchand intended – as an extremely good neighborhood restaurant. At the end of the day, that’s all Frenchie is. It’s not a site for spiritual awakening or the missing key to your vacation. But we’re awfully happy every time we eat here, and we appreciate that it’s one of the few attention-soaked addresses that seems to be getting better each time we visit.
Just down the street from the impossible to get into Frenchie, you can complete the Gregory Marchand hat trick at the latest outpost from the renowned Frenchie chef. The Anglo-inspired eatery features excellent Reubens, flavorful fish and chips, sweet treats like cheesecake and doughnuts, housemade ginger beer, pickles & maple smoked bacon, and a great beer list. Unless you like cold meat and a greasy bag, we suggest actually eating on-site at the 15 seat space rather than taking the goods to go as suggested.