Little Red Door
60 Rue Charlot
It’s been a busy few months. Between a few weeks of holiday and other fun stuff like openings, social events, cocktail competitions and interesting interviews the blog writing had to take backseat for a few weeks. But, I’m back and ready to spill on some of the city’s new spots, like Little Red Door, where I met up with Kasia recently for some taste testing.
Just past the friendly doorman, you’ll find a whimsically miniature red door. While most guests will slip into this seductive space via the normal sized door to the left, apparently a select few regulars will be given the keys to this mini-entrance. With discrete attitude, LRD sticks to the speakeasy style prevalent within Paris’ recent cocktail scene but amps it up with some stylish detail. These days, it’s not unusual to see lovely glassware or bitters decanted in simple bottles on a bar top. However, here the furniture has been handpicked and imported from London and the light fixtures specifically designed for the space. But the pieces de resistances are the plush velvet barstools, which are not so much stools as impossibly comfortable armchairs. Dim lighting, various levels and intimate groupings of chic chairs and sofas make it a sexy little space for small groups or a quiet couples night out.
With Romain, previously of the Experimental Cocktail Club, and Ben behind the bar, drinks are made with TLC. On my first visit, the menu was not yet finalized, so I started with a nicely prepared No. 3 martini. However, the other orders better exemplify the team’s skill at gently encouraging patrons to try something just a little different. Since Kasia had been considering a dark and stormy, Ben suggested an alternative with smoky whisky and ginger beer. Her hubby ordered up a cacacha based sangree, which he’d been turned onto as an alternative to a caipi on a prior night. Like their drinks, their spirits selection veers away from the mainstream and they pride themselves on ‘high-quality and specialized’ spirits.
I returned later for the opening night party and launch of first menu. At the time the choice included five drinks based on a range of high-end spirits and quality ingredients with enough variety to appeal to a range of tastes. The cocktail menu will change on a regular basis with a continued focus on creating unique cocktails. The team will also be working with an aromaticien in developing interesting profiles for their creations.
For non-cocktail drinkers, LRD’s wine places a special focus on Languedocs and their selection of artisanal beer comes from Cave a Bulles. They have plans to bring in food, which will be a nice addition. With barstools as comfortable as these, customers will need something to accompany a full evening’s worth of cocktails.
Overall, it’s a nice space, with well-made drinks going for standard Paris cocktail prices, of 12 to 13 Euros. While I like the fact that some of the city’s latest bars are dropping cocktail prices slightly, LRD is doing enough to justify these prices. And bonus: with some of my other cocktails favs like Candelaria, le Coq, l’Entrée des Artistes and Grazie within reasonable walking distance, this little corner of the city is shaping up as a great place for acocktail crawl.
Update: Romain is no longer behind the bar here, but now you’ll find the friendly and talented Remy