Wine is part of the living heritage of France, and its cultural relevance can be measured by the place it occupies in the country’s social structure, being an element of aggregation and sharing. According to French law “wine, fruit of the vine and the wine-growing areas are part of the cultural, gastronomic and landscape of France”. Here is our guide to the Parisian part of that landscape.
Restaurant, French, Japanese, $$$
Vivant, headed by Pierre Jancou, is a winery in a traditional style, with art nouveau details recalling the ancient function of the place – a bird shop from 1903. The novelty here is the arrival of the Japanese chef Atsumi Sota, who worked in the kitchens of Troisgros, Robuchon, Stella Maris and Toyo. He creates a Franco-French fusion reviewed with freshness and Japanese rigor, without sauce or unnecessary frills – a poetic mix of Japanese perfectionism and French indulgence.
This venue is a truly convivial, lively place, especially on Thursdays when a jazz concert is served along with your favorite drink. The owner, being a sommelier, has composed a huge and well selected chart of wines, including organic options. The selection of tapas accompaniments is also perfect. Le Porte-Pot is an ideal place to meet up after an especially hard work day. No wonder the jazz night is on Thursday, the official after-work party night in Paris.
Au Loup is a small, subtle and intimate place. A great selection of wines, and above all pleasant and smiling staff will make you wish to visit again and again. Later in the night (from Thursday to Sunday) the place becomes a vibrant venue, with everyone drinking, chatting and having fun.
Ô Chateau has been named the best wine bar in Paris, and is the only bar in the capital to receive the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. It is possible to taste a selection of the very best wines by the glass, and the tapas selection is designed to accompany your chosen wine. If you have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, the house offers oenology (wine studies) courses in both French and English.
5e CRU° is an ideal place to celebrate. With vintage decor and a relaxed atmosphere, walls lined with bottles, deeply knowledgeable staff, and efficient and discreet service, the venue is a preferred spot of many locals. Wines are also available by the glass, so it is possible to discover several at a time.
The ambiance at Le Baron Rouge is great and has remained unchanged for many years. The charcuterie and the rillettes are very good, and the fresh oysters are definitely worthy trying. The wine is affordable and the welcoming staff makes for a warm atmosphere.
The decor in this spot is beautiful – in particular the great art-deco windows overlooking the Passage Beaujolais and the large mirror facing the windows. Dishes at Verjus are served at a perfect quickly, and the wines that accompany them are well chosen. The service is also friendly and pleasant.
This small brasserie features bold variations on traditional themes. Expect simplicity, freshness and quality from their fare. The menu is limited but not without personality. The wines, whilst not cheap, are great, and certainly not excessive for Paris.
L’Avant-Comptoir is a tiny restaurant where the order of the day is to snack on various delicious mini-dishes whilst standing at the bar. The staff are friendly and helpful and will recommend a good wine to accompany your meal. Order lots of little things to share so everybody can discover the tasty delicacies on offer.