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Foreign Vin-Vasion

continued (page 3 of 3)

Le Baron Rouge This classic near the Bastille—complete with zinc bar and a great assortment of wines, pâtés, and cheeses—has an old-fashioned feeling and a terrific sense of raffish style. Go on a Sunday, when the bustling market is in full swing on the adjacent Place d’Aligre. (1 R. Théophile-Roussel, 12th; 01-43-43-14-32)

La Cloche des Halles A Paris institution. The food is fresh (terrines, tarts, salads, a specialty of ham and eggs in a copper dish), and the wines—the list is especially strong in Beaujolais and the Loire—are modest but well chosen. (28 R. Coquillière, 1st; 01-42-36-93-89)

L’Écluse Exclusively Bordeaux (including some of the big names by the bottle and occasionally by the glass), well matched by foie gras, carpaccio, various terrines, grilled fillet of beef, and tagliatelle with foie gras. The original Left Bank location is best, but all are congenial, with an atmosphere more English pub than Parisian comptoir. (15 Quai des Grands Augustins, 6th; 01-46-33-58-74, plus four other locations in the 1st, 8th, and 17th)

L’Enfant Rouge A wine-irrigated bistro, run by Dany Bertin-Denis, longtime proprietor of the popular Moulin à Vins, in Montmartre, and a woman with a real passion for good, unpretentious wines. Several dozen choices by the glass at the tiny bar or in the small dining room, with an abbreviated menu (excellent steak tartare). (9 R. de Beauce, 3rd; 01-48-87-80-61)

Juveniles The ebullient Tim Johnston reigns over this unofficial clubhouse for the Anglo-Saxon wine and food community in Paris (there’s a regular French clientele, too). Fifteen or 20 wines—from Australia, California, Spain, and Italy, as well as France—by the glass and a few high-quality spirits (the excellent Compass Box Juveniles malt whisky, for example). The menu includes gazpacho, grilled quail, and—Johnston’s a Scot, after all—haggis. (47 R. de Richelieu, 1st; 01-42-97-46-49)

Le Mesturet This hospitable restaurant doesn’t call itself a wine bar, but it ought to: There are 30 or so wines sold by the glass, at tables or at the bar. Among the best dishes are braised lamb shank with thyme and an exceptional terrine of pork jowl en gelée. (77 R. de Richelieu, 2nd; 01-42-97-40-68)

Le Rubis A look into the past, with its yellowed walls and miscellany of signage (and—fair warning—Turkish toilet), this old place has been dispensing wines by the glass, a couple dozen of them at any given time, for generations. Besides pâtés, cheeses, and the like, there are a few simple bistro dishes such as omelets, sausage with lentils, and brandade. (10 R. du Marché-St.-Honoré, 1st; 01-42-61-03-34)

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