My favorite dining companion never fails to strike up a conversation when we’re in a restaurant- sometimes with a neighboring table, often with the server or sommelier. So it was no surprise that he immediately hit it off with the owner of Le Tout Monde when we enjoyed an apéro and entrées there on a rainy evening. The conversation quickly turned to vin nature – a shared passion, it turns out – and mutual acquaintances in the small community of French natural winemakers.
The cozy bistrot in the Goutte d’Or neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement had recently hosted a few friends for an event. “I’m not trying to hold big tastings here or anything,” the friendly patron humbly explained, “I’m just happy to host friends.” Being a good host is clearly a priority in this charming wine bar and restaurant, where everyone feels like a friend.
Located on rue Affre, a side street in a neighborhood that has been referred to as a “No-Go Zone” by questionable news sources in the past, Le Tout Monde encapsulates everything that is charming about the 18th arrondissement: the diversity, the sense of community, and the eagerness to create a shared space for locals and visitors alike.
Attracting both wine geeks and girls’ nights, the bistro pays attention to quality and diversity in its drink offerings. Wine drinkers, we’ve established, will feel right at home here, but there’s also locally brewed craft beer from Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or for those looking for some different local flavor.
Sourcing locally is a theme in the kitchen as well. The chef holds himself accountable to this by transparently posting the suppliers of his ingredients – from vegetables, fish, and meat to bread and cheese – on a prominently displayed chalkboard (even the origin of the musical selection has found its way onto the list!).
The cuisine combines the comfort of home-cooked meals with the care of a keen-eyed shopper. Making a meal out of starters is entirely possible, even advisable, as the list of entrées make it hard to choose just one. We started with some charcuterie (half of a saucisson with bread for 5 euro), then were seduced by a fresh seafood starter of razor shell clams in a gentle tomato broth (8 euro) and kale salad with squid in an orange reduction (7,50 euro).
With mains from 20-22 euro and deserts hovering around 6,50 euro, the menu is affordable and a great value for the quality of the ingredients. But what is truly priceless is finding a classic neighborhood bistrot that is reliable in its warm welcome and constantly changing in its seasonal menu.
Le Tout Monde – 4 rue Affre, 75018. Métro: La Chapelle. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 54 29 51
- Not far away is the popular Brasserie Barbès. Check out our review here.
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- The ethnic diversity of the area also offers up the unique Marché Barbès. David Lebovitz shares his experiences visiting.