March 13, 2014
You can call it tapas, mezze, hors d’ouvres… But, whatever you call it, small plate dining has been big news in Paris for the past few years.
Artisan (Fanny Twin) & Buvette
Places like Verjus, Au Passage, Mary Celeste, l’Avant Comptoir, Bones and Frenchie Wine bar have upped the ante when it comes to these meals made up of mini-servings. With so many spots, it’s hard to choose. So, if you’re interested in partaking in this particular fad, here’s a hat trick of SoPi hotspots for an all night tapas tour.
Since Artisan doesn’t take reservations, it’s best to begin your night here to guarantee a seat. This laid back location is the latest from the group behind La Maison Mère and they’ve up their game thanks to the one-two punch of barman Frederic Le Bordays and chef Vanessa Krycève.
Le Bordays has his own consulting company and has recently come out with a book on cocktails so he knows his way around a shaker. And, thanks to formal training and experience at the likes Ladurée, Pierre Hermès, and Guy Savoy, Kryceve modernizes typical French dishes like terrines or tartars with style. The menu here is light on wine, but strong on cocktails, so start with an aperitif from their ever-changing list of house creations.
Artisan – 14 rue Bochart de Saron, 75009. +33 1 48 74 65 38
After whetting your appetite, head over to Braisenville for round two. And, like at Artisan, you can sit up at the bar to keep eye on the action or take a table for larger groups. And, here you can reserve. At Braisenville things are bolder, brighter and even a bit brash in terms of decor.
The menu sticks closer to classics and is divided into charcuterie and cheese, veggies, seafood, meat and dessert. Nibble on choices like thinly sliced Pata Negra – these large hams hang from the ceiling and along walls – or roasted vegetables good enough to please even die-hard carnivores.
The ceviche is something of a house specialty as well. And, here, you can wash down your small plates with a bit of wine from their interesting and reasonably priced list.
Braisenville. 36 rue Condocet, 75009. +33 9 50 91 21 74
Continue your tapas tour with a stop into the hip and hopping Buvette. After a successful reception with their NYC outpost, Jody Williams returned to the source of her culinary inspiration with a sweet little Parisian spot where she modernizes and miniaturizes classic French dishes.
Top image: Buvette (ilovebuvette) & Bottom image: Braisenville (©Claude Weber)
Graze on small samples of charcuterie or hachis parmentier. Here, the drinks menu includes a range of cocktails from bubbly kir royal variations to stronger cocktails creations, like their Paris-Manhattan. For lighter libations, sample from their wine menu – all domestic, bien sur. Tin ceiling tiles, exposed brick, and ceramic serving plates decorating the walls give la Buvette a comfortably stylized French wine bar feeling. For a quick stop, grab a bar stool, otherwise, reserve a larger table for a longer visit.
Buvette. 28 rue Henri Monnier, 75009. +33 1 44 63 41 71
Finish up your night at Ito, one of Paris’ most popular Izakaya restaurants where the Japanese chef turns out delightful and surprising small plates. Considering its popularity and tiny size, reservations are a must. Their handful of simple wooden tables are consistently packed with locals, tourists and crowds from the neighboring nightclubs. The menu offers up ten or so plates like duck breast in a Yukari sauce or the incredibly popular risotto decorated with delicate edible flowers. You can finish up the evening with a comforting cup of green tea or make a digestif of one of their many Japanese whiskies. Ito is open until 2am, so you can stretch out this last stop as late as you like.
Ito. 2, Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009. + 33 9 52 91 23 00
- If Buvette sounds appealing we suggest continuing with this post by David Lebovitz about the restaurant.
- … Or maybe you prefer to look into Braisenville a little bit more. In that case, don’t miss this post about Braisenville by Mr Lung
- Want more from Forest and the neighborhood SoPi? Have a look at her previous post for the HiP Paris Blog about this popular area in Paris.
Written by Forest Collins
Forest Collins chronicles her search for the finest cocktails in Paris on her blog, 52 Martinis. Every Wednesday, she tries a new place. She starts with a martini for a standard of comparison and then usually orders a second. Got a bar you think makes great drinks? Let her know, she'd love to try it!
Website: 52 Martinis