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La Buvette de Camille: Natural Wines & Small Plates in Paris

HiP Paris Blog, Antonin Borgeaud, La Buvette de Camille

As I very much enjoy drinking natural wines in London, I thought I would probably enjoy drinking them even more in France. So my thinking went when planning my trip to Paris last month. I can’t remember where I first heard about La Buvette, but it was on my list of natural wine places and also on my list of places that have been opened by ex-staff of Le Chateaubriand or Le Dauphin, where the owner of La Buvette, Camille Fourmont used to work.

HiP Paris Blog, Antonin Borgeaud, La Buvette de Camille

That part of rue Saint-Maur is uninhabited enough at night that, as I stopped outside La Buvette to take a photo of the neon lit sign spelling out its name before going inside, my friend E coming up behind me and saying hello made me jump and let out a small shriek.

HiP Paris Blog, Antonin Borgeaud, La Buvette de Camille

It’s actually not that far from Parmentier metro, but it seems so when you’re walking up the street in the dark, not knowing where it’s going to be. E, who knows the area well (and shares a surname with the owner Camille Fourmont – but is no relation as far as we could all discern) said she thought Camille was forging interesting new territory by opening there.

HiP Paris Blog, Antonin Borgeaud, La Buvette de Camille

Once inside, it was pleasantly refreshing to be in a wine related space that had clearly been put together by a cool girl, rather than a man. Not that it’s girly. It wasn’t dark and there were no ancient dusty bottles gathering mold as décor. Instead, the white tiled walls with shallow wooden shelves held bottles of mostly natural wines, with the prices clearly written on them (add €8 for corkage). There were vintage glass light fixtures, each one slightly different, and a pot containing a fresh arrangement of white flowers and eucalyptus. The whole effect was light, unfussy and modern. Continue Reading »

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »

Verjus: Paris’ Newest Wine Bar & Restaurant From the Hidden Kitchen Team

The sweet couple behind Hidden Kitchen opened Verjus, Paris’ newest wine bar, a few months back to rave reviews. The adjoining restaurant space for Verjus opens tonight in Paris and we couldn’t be more excited for the entire team. We expect the experience to be well worth the wait. Below, Forrest shares more details on this highly anticipated spot. -Maggie

After standing strong at the forefront of the Paris underground dining scene for several successful years, the Hidden Kitchen’s coveted twice-weekly communal dinners are no more! And that’s actually good news.  Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins, the culinarily gifted couple behind Hidden Kitchen, have moved from private to public with their latest new venture: Verjus, a wine bar and restaurant open now in the heart of the 1st arrondissement.

The wine bar and restaurant are located in two separate spaces just steps from each other. The wine bar showcases the foodie couple’s skill at bringing a fresh and creative touch to a classic concept, while respecting some of the cozy traditionalism characteristic of these types of venues.  Here Braden has developed a limited menu of small-plate bar food; the fried chicken is already legendary among local foodies and hopefully will remain a staple. Other options may change, but you’re in for the likes of indulgent pork belly, plump dumplings or delicately crisp fries served in sturdy silver cups. At prices ranging from 4€ to14€ per plate, it works equally well for a quick apero or a longer, tapas-style meal. And leave room for dessert! The menu offers up a few fantastic sweet choices as well.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »

Paris Dining With the Locals: Mon Oncle le Vigneron

I’ll admit: when I first heard of the cave à manger concept, I was skeptical. “The restaurant is a wine store? That looks like someone’s kitchen? And you still need a reservation?” In a city filled with countless decadent, exquisite options, this sounded rather pedestrian and misguided, like a basketball player deciding to transfer his skills over to the golf course.

Call me what you will—ignorant, pessimist, hater—but I promise to be none of those any longer: Mon Oncle Le Vigneron has me sold on the trend, with this small, family-owned place as the current apex.

Tucked away in the 19th, MOLV only recently expanded to its current food-serving capacity. The owners made their name selling wine, but seem to have shifted gracefully into this new phase, turning their home/wine store into a home/restaurant. Bottles of wine and jars of honey line the walls, flowers jut out of a severed plastic water jug, silverware is pulled out of the cupboards, and a glass-partitioned kitchen allows you to peruse the cooking process from your seat. The tables are simple, and few: only two were set during my visit, and when attempts were made by unsuspecting passersby to grab a seat, they were sadly turned away—if you don’t reserve ahead of time, they won’t have enough food for you. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

Le Baron Rouge: The Quintessential Paris Wine Bar

Baron Rouge -- Monnuage.frMonnuage.fr

There are a few places in Paris that make you feel like an insider the minute you step through the door. It’s an incredibly gratifying feeling, given that other elements of life here can feel downright impenetrable to those of us who aren’t born and bred (make that incredibly well-bred) Parisians. So when I “discovered” Le Baron Rouge and instantly felt like a regular, I knew I had hit the jackpot.

It turns out that quite a few people have hit the same jackpot, but as popular as this unassuming spot is, it maintains its low-key, local vibe. French still dominates among the staff and clientele, and the guys behind the bar are no-nonsense but still friendly (especially the one with the beard… you can’t miss him). There’s not a lot of hand-holding here, but there’s no judgment either (to me, that’s the perfect balance), and servers are happy to help you navigate the long and interesting wine list scrolled on chalkboards near the bar.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »

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