Friday Five: Paris Experts and their Favorite Bars

On occasional Fridays, I turn over 52 Martinis to five other Paris personalities to get their take on the city’s best bars.  This week, some of my favorite Paris Experts share their preferred spots.


Previously a professional pastry chef, currently a celebrated author and always a fun cocktail companion, David Lebovitz tells us “Le Mary Celeste is my favorite bar because all the bartenders seem to know exactly what I want, so I always leave it up to them to make me whatever they feel like. And I’m never disappointed.”

elEverybody loves the Yelp Paris Community Manager, Elodie Fagan – and not just for her charisma, but for her insight into Paris places-to-be.  And she’s currently loving: “Dirty Dick, a Tiki Bar in SoPi managed by Scotty, an LA native. Their Pain Killer and homemade almond syrup are insane and the atmosphere is so unpretentious, unique and off-beat”

UnknownWhen Mathilde Dewilde isn’t multitasking with her blog (Mathilde’s Cuisine) her book (Foodista) and her many other activities, she’s finding great spots to eat and drink in Paris.  Her favorite bar of the moment is Epure because “‘There is a friendly atmosphere in that bar which brings me there again, again and again. The master of the venue, David Rougier, always has an amazing bottle to make you try while having such an ability to make you feel at home. The shape of the bar, which look like a boat, is a true invitation to start chatting with your neighboors and share amazing times with them.”



Between finishing My Little French Cookbook (her fourth cookbook), filming for her BBC TV show, and her recipe column with the London Evening StandardRachel Khoo still manages to find a little time to go out for drinks and when she does, it’s just might be at the Candelaria because, as she explains, “I have bit of thing for tiny spots. Just because it’s a small space doesn’t mean this place doesn’t pack punches with some mean cocktails.”





As the mastermind behind the Secrets of Paris website, author of Naughty Paris (one of my absolute favorite guide books), and professional Paris tour guide, Heather Stimmler-Hall knows what she’s talking about when she tells us “I love the bar at the George V Four Seasons because it has a cozy, intimate atmosphere instead of blaring music like most bars. And the cocktails are worth the (admittedly high) price!”

Friday Five: Savvy Drinkers’ Favorite Paris Bars

Occasionally on a Friday I turn 52martinis over to five other savvy drinkers for their opinions on the best cocktails in Paris. This week some of my favorite friends, fellow cocktaillians and foodies give up the goods.

Impeccably gracious Colin Field, the man behind the world-renowned Hemingway Bar of the Ritz, says “My favourite bar at the moment would be the bar of the Regina hotel with Christian and Jerome holding the Fort. The hotel is very old world which I love and the bar is positively 1900’s. The feeling is very cosy and the cocktails – not to mention the company – is and are fantastic.”

Fab foodie, world traveler, cocktail enthusiast, LUPEC Seattle founder and one of my very favorite drinking partners, Wendy Miller says: “Paris used to be quite a wasteland for cocktails but over the last few years it’s grown up nicely. And although I enjoy quite a few of the lounges in the city, I really love Prescription Cocktail Club. Whether ordering a gin gin mule or a classic martini, the drinks are well made, the atmosphere is comfy, they use nice glassware & the prices are great! Can’t wait to sit at the bar there again soon.”

Half of the stellar Liquid Liquid team, which organizes Cocktails Spirit, and simply one of the one of the most in-the-know (and nicest!) people in Paris when it comes to cocktails, Thierry Daniel says: (NOTE to readers: translation coming shortly on this, but I’m rushing out the door and didn’t want to hold up the posting!) A l’heure de l’apéritif en ce début de période hivernale, j’aime ouvrir mes papilles au Forum avec un Black Sazerac. Joseph Biolatto et son équipe exécutent les drinks d’une manière quasi instinctive qui se révèlent pour autant d’un parfait équilibre. Après le dîner je file me réfugier au bar de l’un des hôtels les plus mythiques et intimes de Paris, l’Hôtel rue des beaux arts à Saint-Germain. Derrière le bar, Carlos Madriz a tiré cette adresse vers les repères de la mixologie à l’image de son Strawberry Wilde. Ensuite, j’aime retrouver des amis au troisième bar des trois garçons, le Prescription Cocktail Club pour siroter un Florida Taragon jusqu’au bout de la nuit.

Adorable foodie, Clotilde Dusoulier author of both Chocolate & Zucchini and Clotilde’s Edible Adventure in Paris as well as a contributor to ELLE à table says: My favorite cocktail spot in Paris remains the Experimental Cocktail Club because it’s small, it’s cosy if you can score one of the little tables in the back, and I like their Strawberry Alarm Clock, a sweet and sour cocktail made with organic strawberries and organic vodka.”

The dangerously charming Philip Duff, “Your Man In Amsterdam,” saloonkeeper, cocktail chap, drinks guy, presenter, writer but definitely no model…says: “My favorite cocktail bar in Paris is Bar Le Forum on the Boulevard des Malesherbes because it’s classic without being boring, modern without being noisy or packed, and you can drink there in the afternoons as well!”

Friday Five

Sometimes on a Friday, I turn 52martinis over to other in-the-know Paris imbibers and get their take on the city’s best cocktails. Usually I feature five different people, but this week Pascal Iakovou, Editor in Chief of the über-fashionable Luxsure Magazine, gave me so many good cocktail spots, I’m giving him the whole Friday Five to himself!

For cocktail innovation and service: Try Le Starcky (champagne and mint) or the Millenium (a subtle melange of rosé Champagne, rose liqueur and orange essance) at the Bar 228 of Le Meurice.

Want something else original with killer service: Sample the Wasabi Martini (vodka, wasabi, lime juice and sugar cane syrup) at the Westin Hotel Bar.

Simply because it’s a must: a Bellini at Barlotti.

For privacy and discretion: Sip a Manhattan at le Cercle.

And, because it’s sexy: Order a Cointreaupolitan at Secret Square.

Thanks, Pascal!

Watch this space….I’ve already got the goods from savvy sippers for next week’s Friday Five!


Friday Five

Because sometimes you want to hear someone besides, me, me me! Occasionally on a Friday, 52martinis will start getting the scoop on the best cocktail stops from five in-the-know Parisians and cocktail aficionados.

Kim Laidlaw-Adrey, fab girl about town of both UnlockParis and Paris Localite for BBC Travel says: My favourite place for cocktails in Paris right now is the Prescription Cocktail Club on the left bank. There’s a chic yet laid-back vibe, it’s an in-the-know place without being pretentious and the cocktails are expertly made and absolutely delicious. Perfect.

Gentry de Paris, tenacious, tempting and all around tantalizing burlesque queen says: I like Fabrice at La Villa because he makes the best Manhattan in town with my favorite difficult-to-find Van Winkle Rye.

Xavier Padovani, global brand ambassador for Hendrick’s and simply one of the coolest cocktail guys I know : This up and coming winter when visiting Paris one will start the night at the George V with a Hot George Punch and may probably somehow end up seeking L’Experience at Montorgueil’s best kept secret Experimental Cocktail Club.

Joseph Biolatto one of the masterminds behind the Forvm as well as one of my fav bartenders in Paris says: Mon bar préféré à Paris est le bar du Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme pour la qualité des produits sélectionnés et pour le service impeccable de Yann Daniel et de son équipe.

Doni Belau of Girls’ Guide to Paris (keep an eye out for the new Girls’ Guide launching in a few days!) says: One of the Girls’ Guide’s favorite places for cocktails in Paris remains L’Alimentation General on rue Jean Pierre Timbaud in the 11th arr. The bar/café sports a fabulous French blue exterior and décor reminiscent of a General Store and the crowd is of course young and hip. This wine/beer and cocktail bar serves up spectacular drinks as well as an eclectic mix of music ranging from hip-hop to jazz. No matter how great the drinks are – the atmosphere is king here. This is an excellent place to start a pub crawl as there are several more trés kool places on the same street and of course you can sneak around the corner to Oberkampf if you are in for the long haul.

A special thanks to friends and fellow cocktail enthusiasts who agreed to do the first Friday Five….because sometimes first is scary!