During a warm week in April I enjoyed a last meal at Paris’ favorite Italian restaurant, Caffè dei Cioppi, before it closed its doors for good. Although long-time fans of Fabrizio Ferrara’s flavorful cuisine were disappointed by the move, the good news is that the space has reopened as a relaxed Italian café and wine bar in the hands of Stefania Melis, already known to the Paris gastronomic scene as coupled with Simone Tondo of Roseval fame.
With the change of hands, the terrace tucked away in an alley off rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine hasn’t lost any of its charm. Folding metal tables and chairs are replaced by wicker stools and round café tables. A smart green awning reads Capucine in a curly script.
The tiny dining room and terrace, once only open for lunch and dinner four days a week, now welcomes early-risers for a frothy cappuccino or Sicilian orange juice. And the doors stay open all day, serving light dishes like a fresh tomato soup, carpaccio with arugula and parmesan, or ricotta and cherry tomato bruschetta. Stop by in the afternoon for a relaxed summer lunch or early in the evening to savor Italian charcuterie and cheese plates with a glass of prosecco. For a little something sweet, don’t overlook the simple vanilla and apricot panna cotta. The café only offers smaller sharing plates and closes at 9pm, making it a good pick for an apéro before dinner (we recommend trendy pizza joint East Mamma just up the street!)
The wine selection is limited, but we were impressed with a bottle of strong Montecucco Rosso Campi Nuovi with a rich cherry flavor. Prices are very reasonable with wines by the glass from 4€ and bottles from 21€.
While I still miss Caffe dei Cioppi’s amazing seafood pasta, Capucine brings its own uncomplicated ambiance to the neighborhood.
Capucine – 159, rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 75011. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 46 10 14
- If Italian food and wine have you dreaming about Italy, here’s a great guide to buying property in Italy. Just in case.
- Make your own pasta and pizza at home. Secrets to cooking like an Italian mamma.
- How Italian cuisine slowly succeeded in Paris. A great article on T Magazine.