One of the latest hot items in the Paris food and wine world, Au Passage has been garnering more than a bit of blogger buzz lately. It also just snagged the 2012 Prix Fooding d’amour, confirming its status as Paris’ newest foodie darling. In the evenings, this low-key wine bar and tapas joint is jam packed with patrons partaking in small plates of munchies, various wines by the bottle and a bit of respectably rowdy foodie fun. Things take a different turn at noon with the (thankfully) limited lunch menu: one entrée, two choices of mains, one cheese, one dessert. With kitchen talent coming from Spring and Le Verre Volé and carefully selected market-fresh fare, this spot is turning out some seriously savory meals. I stopped in recently with three other food and drink-minded bloggers ( Kasia/Love in the City of Lights, Caroline/Sweet Caroline in Paris and Erica/HiP Paris) to see how the lunch stacks up to the hype.
Kasia: The decor takes simplicity and minimalism to a new level of chic.
Erica: This is my kind of place. Laid back and casual. Wood, red paint, bistro chairs, parquet floors, hipster servers and chalk board menus. Unpretentious and fun.
Caroline: I LOVE the old leather chairs, and appreciate the great mix of comfy seating, proper tables, and bar stools.
Forest: At lunchtime, it’s filled to (and sometimes beyond) capacity with local business owners and loyal fans trekking from across town to check out the latest lunch menu in a laid-back, bric-a-brac ambiance.
Kasia: Presentation is creative and refined; flavors are fresh and plentiful. Wines to compliment.
Erica: Short, sweet, and to the point. Fresh, pretty, and tasty. The sheer opposite of standard American menus with endless possibilities.
Caroline: Yum! Light, fresh, market-friendly, sustainable, seasonal choices. All of my favorite words. And, well, the wine…
Forest: Seafood is always perfectly cooked, and the staff is not afraid to forgo easy wine pairing options to offer interesting and appropriate suggestions.
Kasia: Utmost quality for the lunch prix fixe.
Erica: From 9€50 – 19€. From just a main to a four course meal. A deal in my book, and a delicious one at that.
Caroline: Here’s the kicker–the lunch deal is an amazing value. Go for lunch. Just do it. Now.
Forest: Best lunch deal in town, hands down.
Kasia: Discreetly hidden down an alleyway in the 11th, a destination in itself.
Erica: Funky, hip and off the beaten track, but not too far off. Just close enough to the Merci store for a quick pop-in after a meal and a stroll on to the Marais from there.
Caroline: Ok, I may be biased, but this is one of my favorite ‘hoods in Paris these days (no, I don’t live there). Convenient from Republique & Bastille, but still on a quiet passage. What more could you ask for?
Forest: With neighbors like Grazie, Candelaria and l’Entree des Artistes, the area is fast becoming a foodie favorite while still retaining its own sketchily quirky feel.
Desert: Chocolate ganache with figs and hazlenuts
1bis passage Saint Sébastien, 75011
Métro: Saint-Sébastien – Froissart
Open: Mon 11am – 1am, Tue – Fri 11am – 2pm, Sat 6pm-2am
A peek at the dinner menu