Parisian Coffee and Cocktail Adventures: Lockwood

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Lockwood
73 Rue d’Aboukir
75002 Paris

With the emergence of a new breed of coffee bar, cocktails aren’t the only notable drinking trend to hit the capital over the past few years. Recently, three brothers have capitalized on both crazes in creating the Lockwood.

IMG_9233Paris’ latest It-spot combines three different drinking styles all under one roof with Brûlerie Belleville coffee and light snacks during the day, easy-going aperitif options early evening and serious cocktails from 8 p.m. onwards in the downstairs bar.

Upstairs, a large, clean glass front brightens things up while mellow wood tones and soft light keep it warm. Bottles hang from bungee cords above a small bar (reminding me of the setup up at the Tippling Club….), coffee filters serve as lampshades and customers cluster around high tables. Slip down the back stairs and you’ll find a collection of stone-vaulted rooms with low chairs and tables and a larger central bar. There the vibe is more conducive to nighttime drinking. The Lockwood feels both Parisian and international at the same time, which is no big surprise considering the team’s collective experience includes time at Silencio, Ten Belles, plus a few international endeavors.

IMG_9227The night I stopped in with Laurance, Thibaut and Regis, we started upstairs where the menu offers a dozen drinks that kick the night off nicely. The aperitif aspect is obvious with options including bitters like Aperol Spritz, Campari Orange, or Americano. There’s a Paloma on the menu, which has been coming into cocktail play a bit more recently plus a couple of hot options like mulled wine or Irish Coffee. My martini was enjoyable as were the Whiskey Pomme (Buffalo Trace and apple juice from the owners’ family orchards) and a Negroni. While there are no surprises, they are none needed to deliver a good drinking experience. It’s a solid and satisfying selection of aperitifs ranging from 7 to 12 Euros plus some beer, bubbles and wines.

IMG_9255The larger downstairs bar does things a bit differently with just under 20 cocktails at 11 to 15 Euros. The Zacapa old fashioned (old fashioned variation with Zacapa rum 23, house syrup of apple & cinnamon, orange and angostura) was nice, although ever so slightly sweet for my taste. The Whet Appetite is a similar to some options we’ve seen around Paris with its  combo of tequila, cool cucumber and a Tabasco heat. Their rendition of the Penicillin delivers the familiar smoke and honey flavors you’d expect.

IMG_9258Ingredients are fresh and preparation considerate. They aren’t overextending themselves but rather focusing on a manageable menu, which is key to successfully pulling off a concept that focuses on doing different things simultaneously.

On the night I was there, I not only enjoyed myself but noted there were plenty of booze and bar biz people in as well – which I take as a good sign. At this point, Paris is probably not desperate for another cocktail bar.  And, that’s why Lockwood is exactly the type of place the city now needs.  Its relaxed attitude, understated cool, and focus on quality ingredients are the right combination to satisfy the coffee connoisseur, casual early evening drinker as well as the late night bar crawler. Given their initial showing and reception, they are set to be a popular and prevalent force on the Paris drinking scene.  Fortunately they open from 8am onwards making it a venue worth a visit anytime of the day.

 

Swanky Cocktail Adventures: Bistrologist

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Bistrologist
16, avenue de Friedland
75008 Paris

With new and emerging cocktail scenes, it’s sometimes the bartender more than the bar itself that makes a place. At least a few Paris cocktail spots have shown a downhill slide after losing some star bar power (Mama Shelter, l’Hotel, to name a few…) So, it’s interesting to keep an eye on not just bars, but the staff movements too. I’ve seen Greg Hazac’s work as he’s gone through various positions at le Secret, Royal Monceau, le 29, and, most currently, the Bistrologist.

IMG_3757The Bistrologist is the new incarnation of le Secret after its temporary closure.  The same sexy and seductive décor remain with its dark wooden walls, soft chairs, and crisp white cloths on tables topped with a single flower. The airy, comfortable terrace also remains for sophisticated sipping with a side of pretty people watching.

While the deco may have stayed the same, there have been some positive tweaks to the original that improve the overall experience. Greg has successfully incorporated aspects of his own recent venture, le 29, with those of le Secret from the sleek silver picks to bespoke cocktails offered on the new menu “comme au 29.”

The menu offers just short of twenty house creations at 15 Euros each, based on a range IMG_3760of spirits and focusing on fresh herbs, house syrups, teas and a few surprises such as crème de marron (chestnut puree) or peanut butter. There’s enough range to please palates seeking something easygoing (think gins, vodkas, elderflower, cucumbers, etc.) to those wanting a more forceful flavor profile (think browns and bitters.) The one option that makes me laugh is the tic tac martini (vodka, citrus and tic tac syrup), which seems pretty much like a slightly more mature version of a Jet 27 drink.

For more convivial cocktail options, they do them in a larger format for sharing  (60 Euros.) For longer nights or larger crowds, you can also order them by the bottle at 190+ Euros, served in heavy cut-glass decanters with a side of ice for an indulgent DIY drinking experience.

IMG_3763On the night of my visit, there was no dry vermouth, so Greg made a variation of a smoky martini with No. 3, Laphroaig, Noilly Pratt Ambré, and syrup.  I know some bar folks who refuse to make smoky martinis on the grounds that gin and whisky shouldn’t mix.  But, I find it an interesting change from time to time as the gin makes for a cleaner delivery of the peat smoke up front (as opposed to it hiding in the back as it might with a straight glass of the Laphroaig in this case.) Next I tried the mescal-based Baiser d’Iki with tea syrup and bitters, which was a good follow up to a smoky martini.

Of course, I’m hoping for some dry behind bar soon to accompany the selection of gins on the menu: Bombay Sapphire, Broker’s, Tanqueray (TLD and 10), Beefeater, Hayman’s Old Tom, Hendrick’s, Sipsmith, No. 3, Plymouth Navy, Monkey 47 and Junipero.

IMG_3780They are looking to kick up the food quality a notch with more attentive sourcing and homemade dishes. I tried a burger which was oozing plenty of toppings and just messy enough to verify its made-on-site cred. For more bar snacking options, they’ve got caviar d’aubergine (8 Euros), caviar Osceittre (130 Euros) and plenty of choice in between (with most prices in the low teens).  For those seeking something beyond cocktails, as with many of the current new places, they are focusing on natural as well as biodynamic wines.

Overall, it’s a seductive spot with the potential to charm with its personalized cocktails. Given the location, ambiance and prices, I imagine that it could easily pull in a crowd of young professionals and in-the-know tourists off the Champs.

And, as for Greg, he’s an interesting barman to follow.  He’s content to march to the beat of his own drum and focusing on his bespoke creations rather than chasing too many cocktail trends.  He appreciates an element of elegance and class and strives to bring that to the customer drinking experience without snobbish affectations.  Basically, he’s just a really nice guy trying to make drinks that please his patrons, so I hope his re-installation in this space pull in an equally nice crowd who appreciate it.

 

 

Cultural Cocktail Adventures: Minipalais at the Grand Palais

Minipalais
avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

One of my besties (and Seattle LUPEC founder), Wendy, came to visit recently. Like me, she’s a bit crazy for both cocktails and cuisine, so we spent several days in a fuzzy food coma. One of our stops was a late afternoon lunch in the much-buzzed Minipalais.

Since being installed in a wing of the Grand Palais, this restaurant and bar has generated some press – notably for its grand terrace. We settled in amongst the enormous and impressive columns of said terrace for our indulgent ladies lunch beginning with what else? A cocktail.

Their menu includes 16 classics (daiquiri, cosmo, manhattan, mint julep, etc.),  6 champagne cocktails (including a negroni sbagliato), and 6 house creations (including a wine-based one) ranging from 13 to 16 Euros. Although there were some interesting choices in the mix and I was hoping for a good drink, I wasn’t expecting excellence due to the location and lunch hour.  While I know some exceptions, I always suspect that restaurant/bar combos save their serious bar staff for evenings when cocktail orders are more likely.

Yet we soldier on.  Wendy’s champagne cocktail came with a dash of cognac.  We’re used to a classic champagne cocktail, but both really enjoyed the extra kick brought about by this variation. The original champagne cocktail has a long history but according to David Wondrich in his book, Imbibe, this “hot rails to hell” practice of adding the cognac was first recorded in 1898.

Enough history. I went for my standard and got a Tanqueray martini with a lemon twist. While I didn’t watch it being made, it was crystal clear and still cold so I’ll assume it was stirred and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality.  While the gin selection offers no surprises, it’s a small offering of solids with Plymouth, Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s, Tanqueray and Tanqueray Ten.

Considering it was lunchtime, we moved onto the business of eating. Otherwise, our first round of cocktails would have likely prompted more exploration. If my martini is any indication, this might not be a bad stop for a mixed drink. And, while there is an indoor bar for when the weather turns sour, the terrace is a lovely place to indulge in the last of the lingering summer days. So, check it out for a bit of culture with your cocktails.

Last of the Summer Cocktail Adventures: le Quarante Trois

Quarante Trois, Holiday Inn Notre Dame
4 Rue Danton
75006 Paris

Holiday Inn may not be the first name to spring to mind when it comes to luxury travel.  But they’ve upped their game with their 4 star Notre Dame eco-hotel and topped it off with one of the city’s best rooftop views at their summer terrace bar, le Quarante Trois.

Taking the elevator to the 9th floor to partake in this panorama is not as easy as it might seem. Ample space is on hold for hotel guests and the remaining available spots are usually reserved in advance.  Walk-ins will likely be told the bar is already full, even at 5:30pm midweek.  However, what is lost in spontaneity is more than made up for by their reservations policy.  Unlike some of the city’s other bars with breathtaking views, once reserved here, you’re guaranteed space without long waits, being denied entrance or excessive crowds.

I previously enjoyed the terrace pre-opening for a Cook Me Drink Me event as well as several times for a glass of bubbly, so I was already sold on the view.  But, wanting to check out the regular cocktail menu, I reserved for an early evening to show off the city to some visiting friends.  While they took a Demory beer (7 Euros) and a couple of glasses of Duval Leroy Rose champagne (15 Euros), I took a martini.  Although a good and icy temperature, I was a little disappointed with the lack of garnish and a few small ice chunks floating in it. There are some nice gins on the menu with Haymans, G’Vine, Hendricks, Bols Genever and Monkey 47.

My martini was an off-menu order. What you will find on menu is a choice of 9 cocktails at 15 Euros, which include house creations and modern classics like the Tommy’s Margarita. The majority of the drinks are tequila based with a couple of rum drinks. The cocktails also feature various liqueurs and herbs de Provence. The “Tais Toi Lasse-Moi Faire” (Shut up and let me do it) option gives the pleasant head barman, Mathieu, carte blanche to create a drink for you.

I gave this a shot, with the instructions to the server that I didn’t want anything sweet or fruity.  Admittedly, that leaves a pretty broad range of options. I got a large balloon filled with plenty of ice and a light pink cocktail. My first thought was: greyhound.  But on second sip, I realized there was a touch of rose to it. When I checked in with Mathieu at the bar, he told me there was crème to grapefruit, crème to rose, G’Vine, citrus and tonic. While I might not make this drink for myself, it was an appropriate choice considering my limited instructions and the fact that I had previously ordered a gin martini.

My fellow drinkers felt like this was a better spot for champagne.  Based on Mathieu’s reputation, I’ll go back to try more cocktails. I do appreciate the fact that the menu doesn’t fall back on just vodka-based cocktails and incorporates more than the usual suspects.

Having visited on several occasions since their opening, I’m finding it one of the more enjoyable spots in which to enjoy the sunny days of summer.  So get there to drink in the last of the lovely weather, but do it soon because they close for the season on 29 September. Hopefully there are still spaces left, because it’s a view not to be missed!

Sparkling Cocktail Adventures: Ciel de Paris

Ciel de Paris (Tour Montparnasse)
33 Avenue du Maine
75015 Paris

While I love a good cocktail, sometimes something else seems more appropriate. Last time I checked in on the Ciel de Paris of the Tour Montparnasse, I noted that not only had it gotten a bit tatty, but that it’s a setting better suited to sipping champagne than knocking back cocktails. It seems someone else felt the same way as it’s undergone a lengthy remodel to update the décor and is now billed as a Champagne bar.

The recent renovation resulted in futuristically retro feel for this Paris institution. Gone are the scuffs and scrapes of the predominantly black space; replaced by a more sophisticated palette of muted taupe and beige. The freestanding central bar remains, but now only champagne is poured here and any mixing action takes place elsewhere behind the scenes. The revamp has lightened the environment, while managing to maintain the best bits of its prior incarnation. And the very best bit is by far the breathtaking view.

The drinks menu is naturally dominated by Champagne and a section of “Bellinis” such as the eponymous “Ciel de Paris” (St Germain, Grand Marnier, Campari and Champagne). For those who simply can’t cope without a cocktail, there is a rather lengthy selection of options including house specialties and classics. Since Thibault and Wendy were with me, we got a chance to go all three ways. Thibault took a Bellini, which was nicely presented, although a bit sweet for my taste. The fact that my martini came with an offensive ice cube and a big black straw, reaffirmed my belief that this venue is made for champagne. So, Wendy made the right choice with just that. With their focus on bubbly, the spirits selection is – not surprisingly – sparse, with a scant gin choice of Gordon’s or Bombay Sapphire. A plate of pate de fruit and mini-muffin cakes accompanied our drinks.

Service was friendly and I appreciate the fact that they didn’t use the remodel as an excuse to excessively jack up drink prices (as opposed to other recent revamps like Bar La Vue.) Prices remain in a 14 to 16 Euros range and are entirely justifiable given the location. Champagne by the glasses goes from 17 to 30 Euros.

The Ciel de Paris once claimed to be the highest restaurant in Paris. While newer spots have taken that title, they are still up there. So, when in a bar that’s reaching for the stars, what better to order than a glass full of them? So, much like the gorgeous view, my impression remains the same on the drinks: Stick with the something that sparkles to go with the sparkling view of the city below.

Rooftop View Cocktail Adventures: Lounge Bar

Lounge Bar at l’Hôtel Novotel Montparnasse
257 Rue de Vaugirard
75015 Paris

I want to have it all. You know the saying “You can have a great job, relationship and apartment.  Just not all at the same time?” So it is with bars. You can find good locations, good drinks and good prices.  But, not always in the same place.

Tucked away in a lesser-visited area in the 15eme atop the Novotel Montparnasse, the Lounge Bar offers up an expansive panorama from its 7th floor terrace.  The clean green and white décor is modern and comfortable with a whiff of hotel bar.  But, the real stunner is the view when the outdoor seating opens during summer months.

The cocktail menu, however, is less expansive with a rather limited spirits choice and a selection of ten drinks comprising Trends (cosmo, mojito, pina colada, and Long Island Ice Tea), LBV Concepts (peach caipiroska, etc.) and a couple of champagne cocktails.

Unfortunately during my visit there was no ice in the bar.  That meant a martini or pretty much any other drink on the menu was out of the question. I went with a gin and tonic because – as the barman suggested – the tonic was cold.  I knew even at the time, I should have skipped the cocktail.  I don’t like Schweppes and my need for ice has already been documented.

So it probably goes without saying that I was non-plussed by my drink. I arrived at opening time (5pm) so I assume they would have had ice later. While any bar should be prepared for customers during all opening hours, a hotel bar should be even better equipped considering guest expectations and 24 hour access to hotel facilities (which presumably include a restaurant.)

Yet there was something of interest on the menu in addition to the Coca-Cola by JP Gaultier – a concept I don’t really get – and the interdiction of flash photos after 10pm.  The Lounge Bar has a happy hour, which offers their 12 – 16 Euros cocktails at two for one until 8pm.  And, that’s not something you often find in a terrace hotel bar with a view like this.

So, I’ll stop in again, skip the cocktails and sip a glass of something bubbly overlooking the city. Because while the view is lovely and the happy hour prices are nice, you apparently can’t have it all at the Lounge Bar.

Nostalgic Cocktail Adventures: La Closerie des Lilas

La Closerie des Lilas
171 Boulevard du Montparnasse
75006 Paris

A friend, who is a painter, once told me that he paints every single day whether or not he is inspired.  This keeps his skills sharp so he can do something exceptional with the inspiration when it does come. I think that’s sound policy, so I’m subscribing to it.  Although we haven’t been having much in the way of summer weather, I’m still checking out terraces so when we do we’re ready for a cocktail in the sun. So when I met Emily at the Closerie des Lilas, I bypassed the barstools and went for a table outside.

No newbie to the scene, this historical Montparnasse address has been around since 1847 and seen the likes of Hemingway, Picasso and Henry Miller pass through its doors on a regular basis.  Today, nameplates indicate the usual tables of these brilliant minds from bygone days.  And, its sweet tree-lined terrace provides a pleasant escape from the daily grind of the city.

The hefty cocktail menu offers dozens of various classics like martinis, americanos, and daiquiris. And, I think it may be the only menu in Paris with a Harvey Wallbanger.  The house creations rely heavily on Havana Club 3 year with an additional section based on a range of spirits.  My martini was acceptable but not exceptional and the same goes for Emily’s mint julep (which I would have liked to see in a julep cup rather than a Havana Club branded glass). While better than average for Paris, the drinks at 15+ Euros didn’t justify a second round and we followed up glass of wine instead.

Service is superior with suited waiters bringing savory bar snacks.  Heat lamps and umbrellas mean the terrace can handle cocktail hour from sunny afternoons to cool evenings.

While the drinks aren’t extraordinary, they are better than average with ample selection and a large choice. But it’s really the historical setting, delightful decor and relaxing terrace that make this spot worth a summer flirtation.  In the meantime, I’ll keep up my search for the best cocktails on a Paris terrace.

Art Deco Cocktail Adventures: L’Etage at Les Jalles – CLOSED

L’Etage
14 Rue des Capucines
75002 Paris
01 42 61 66 71

I don’t really spend all of my time drinking and eating.  I also spend a lot of time reading, researching, writing and talking about drinking and eating.  So, naturally, I hear a lot of buzz. When a friend recently called for a restaurant recommendation that was new and cool and trendy and busy and good (in other words: buzzy), I immediately thought of the latest venture from the duo behind the exceedingly popular Volnay: les Jalles.  In the last month, the blogosphere has been nicely noisy about this new eatery.  However, what piqued my curiosity was not the reportedly fantastic food.  It was the buzz I had been hearing about their bar, l’Etage for months prior from some notable cocktail names.

A few days after they opened, Kate and I made our way through the tasteful art deco dining room of les Jalles, up the back stairs to l’Etage to see what hid behind the hype.  We found ourselves in a sophisticated and seductive space, where period appropriate paintings pop against dark walls and sexy staff stands behind the shiny bar in somberly elegant uniform.

Classy style carries through to the menu with its small but strong selection of eight drinks, including a crusta, a julep and a cobbler made with choice ingredients. The man behind the menu is bar manager, Simon, previously of la Conserverie. And, patrons can confidently go off menu considering he not only honed his skills at a great Paris cocktail spot, but has also worked the circuit abroad, including stints in both Australia and London.

My martini was not the first I’ve had from Simon, but was just as consistently good as the previous ones. When he recommended a Martinez as my follow up, I was happy to go that route and mentioned that it ranked highly among my most memorable cocktail experiences, thanks to one several years back London bar, Montgomery Place.  Coincidentally, turns out that’s also the bar he worked in London, so he stirred up a Martinez that was reminiscent of the one I recalled so fondly.  I, also, of course enjoyed a sip Kate’s Bwa-Lele (two types of rum, velvet falernum, lime and tiki bitters) and was particularly impressed with the presentation of her Calvados Crusta, which came in a glass entirely coated with fine sugar.

I stopped in for another visit last night and Simon started me off with a personalized concoction of gin, Suze, celery bitters, Noilly Pratt and fresh coriander.  This wouldn’t be a drink for everyone, but it was just right for me: something strong, dry and bitter with a fresh & herby nose thanks to the coriander.  I followed with a Sazerac, for which they normally use Rittenhouse Rye, but in this case, Simon broke out a bottle of Michter’s US1 Straight Rye that he had just brought back from New York. I found the Michter’s a bit sweeter and less complex than many ryes, which made for an easily sippable Sazerac that will please a larger range of palettes.  Word is that the menu will be updated soon, but the Bwa-Lele and Crusta will likely remain.

An absinthe fountain on the bar gets occasional use.  On a side note, I think it would be great to see more bars doing absinthe drips.  While it’s becoming more common to see fountains in bars and many consider it a bit passé in the constant quest for something new and unusual in the cocktail world, I don’t believe it’s been fully explored and pushed beyond its novelty aspect.  In a city whose population is familiar with Pernod and which is historically no stranger to the green fairy, more bars could cultivate a taste for it in their customer base.

Drink prices are slightly above average at 16 Euros each, but those wanting the atmosphere with something a little less spendy can enjoy an aperitif at a reasonable 5 to 9 Euros.

L’Etage will attract a crowd of sophisticated urbanites looking to while away a few hours over a well made drink and listening to smoky jazz numbers from the current musical attraction and French chanteuse, Caroline Nin.

Despite high quality quaffs, excellent bar staff and an elegant environment, the bar is still relatively undiscovered as everyone rushes to the restaurant downstairs.  But, my guess is that won’t last for long once the bar buzz gets going. So, get there before everyone else does.

Dandy Cocktail Adventures: the Art Room


The Art Room
13 rue Tiquetonne
75002 Paris

The newly opened Art Room is a fashion dandy’s dream with three floors of carefully calculated frivolity. The main floor is a glossy black cube with films projected on the walls, reproduction chairs and super-stylish chandeliers.  From there, you can take a seat upstairs in the miniscule loft or head downstairs where flash meets fashion in a mixture of sequined walls, simple white pod chairs and antique accents.  They clearly have an aesthetic in mind and manage to successfully marry different styles to create their own unique statement.  This extends to the bar stock as well, where bottles seem to be displayed by design rather than content resulting in a curio cabinet feel.  Alongside the spirits are tinctures, bitters, sprays and decanters of various shapes and sizes holding house recipes like cinnamon and gold leaf infused vodka.

The barman has a high-end hotel background so is presumably familiar with the standards. However, their menu focuses on their sixteen house creations which are named only by number: Secret No. 1, Secret No. 2, etc.  Yet they even manage to make their mark on the classics as my martini came with a spray of rosemary essence.  The Secret series of cocktails have a concept feel which is emphasized by the byline accompanying each one such as “La Resurrection Scandaleuse”

One of the owners explained that they are focusing on fresh ingredients and creating cocktails influenced by French culinary culture rather than just following today’s mixology trends.  This results in a menu focused on fresh ingredients and homemade infusions, which I appreciate.  The downside is that there is some inconsistency in the nuances of each cocktail. I love the elegant simplicity of No. 15 (Champagne and rose, with rosebuds floats) but there are too many ingredients fighting for front and center in the bright blue No. 7 (Gin, ginger, blue curacao, passion fruit pearls and lime.) No. 10 will please casual clientele, but I could use a bigger whiskey kick in it to make it a more interesting cocktail. And, I’m curious about the more adventurous No. 6 with rhum, apple, black tea, cloves and cinnamon served warm with a beetroot cube.

I respect the philosophy of fresh ingredients and unique cocktails, but I think they need to tweak the menu just slightly so that each Secret shines rather than having a handful of standouts to justify 16 to 18 Euros a drink. At those prices customers must to be willing to splash out the cash for the ultra-cool scene rather than just the drinks.

Gentlemen’s Club Cocktail Adventures: Jefrey’s

Jefrey’s
14, Rue St Sauveur
75002 Paris

Even though Jefrey’s was freshly opened when I stopped in, I’ve been sitting on the post for awhile because I wasn’t immediately inspired. Since I’ve written about it for other sites it’s time to get inspired to give the full rundown with the nit-picking reign that only having my own blog allows.

Boldly placed just steps away from the well-established Experimental Cocktail Club, Jefrey’s touts itself as a speakeasy type gentlemen’s club. The interior looks promising: dim and sexy, small and intimate with deep purple velour sofas, comfortable arm chairs and elegant touches like the vintage seltzer bottles and cut-glass decanters.However, it does seem to be a gentlemen’s club that wants no fatties at the bar as the bar chairs are the tightest I’ve ever squeezed my bum into. An inch more ass and I would have needed the assistance of the pretty hostess plus a barman or two to pry my butt out of it.

At the time of my visit the menu featured a selection of cocktails in the mid-teens price range, including standards like the obligatory cosmo and house creations that feature a lot of fresh fruit and flavored syrups.Some are divided into ‘for him’ and those ‘for her.’My martini was competently made, yet slightly warm, and came with simple savory cracker bites.I followed up with a margarita, which if memory serves, was nice enough. The spirits selection is somewhat small but with a few nice choices. While I take issue with the vodka heavy selection, I have no real gripe with the way the drinks are made.

My main issue is that the whole operation feels a bit superficial. My understanding is that the owner(s) is a finance guy from London who wanted to open a ‘speakeasy’ in Paris. An external agency was brought in to temporarily staff the bar and get things running. And, I think that shows through.They’re doing business as usual with nice enough drinks that will appeal to a wider audience who are looking for ‘classy’ cocktails rather than more challenging fare.They’re not going any deeper than making accessible drinks cleverly disguised as something more innovative.

This is the type of bar where you can buy your booze by the bottle. One thing I really like is the gorgeous display case where customers can store their purchased bottles.These little touches dress the place up and it will definitely appeal to a large portion of the drinking population in Paris looking for a sexy stop to sip. If you’re not a highly demanding quaffer, you’ll enjoy a visit. But, I personally find it a little soulless.