Le Medusa: Where to get a nicely priced pint + a decent martini in Paris

medusa cocktail and beer barRaise your hand if you love Mondays! As I suspected: just a few hands up out there in the inter-web world. And, I think I recognize those of you who shot up your arms, fingers frantically wriggling in the air; you’re the bartenders who appreciate your much-deserved days off on this quiet weekday when many of the city’s cocktail spots are closed. For the rest of you, arms firmly down by your sides, I’ve got some news that might make you better appreciate this normally staid day: Le Medusa.

DSC_0506Now, le Medusa has a few other fun facets in addition to its 7X7, 6pm opening hours. It’s a fun neighborhood watering hole that’s attracting a crowd of young frenchies favoring the 5.50 pints on tap and the easy-going vibe they’re cultivating. But it’s not just about cheery beer prices and a light, bright, non-chichi décor. This place is a great compromise if you want to go out with a lively suds-drinking group but still get a drinkable martini.

martinis at medusaI first stopped in to interview Joe of Red House for a quick chat on our new podcast (and a martini) and more recently stopped in for follow-up with friend and fellow cocktail lover, David, to work through a few more drinks on the mini cocktail menu. The cocktail selection, posted on the back bar wall, offers up ten drinks at 9/10 Euros + a Singapore Sling.

As for the martinis, they’re asking the right questions: Which gin? House gin okay? (It’s Beefeater, which I’m down with) Twist or olive? Not surprising as one of the two owners had a stint at Silencio prior to coming old fashioneds in parishere and I have a lot of respect for anyone who works with Rob over at this swish club (and assume anyone who works with him will learn a thing or two.) They’re stirring them up and chilling the glasses with ice. All good. On my subsequent visit, I discovered that the Old Fashioned was also quite enjoyable. But cocktails can be so small, right?

So, we had another. We went off menu and asked for suggestions based on our spirit preferences. And, as much as I find this bar adorable, it’s DSC_0487important not to let my enthusiasm for finding a very drinkable martini for a tenner or so cloud my critical eye. The whiskey sour was a tiny bit acidic. And the Vieux Carré was most excellent, however served up, when a traditional Vieux Carré is served on the rocks (or a rock.) Recently, one of the big kahunas of the cocktail world, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, “fixed” the Vieux Carré (although it was still served over ice), so I’m okay switching up classics to improve them. I’m not sure this was their intention, but I really liked what they did nonetheless.

DSC_0507In short, this is a fun option for those who don’t want cocktail snobbery but still want some good cocktail options. And, I’m very happy about the fact that good cocktails are spreading beyond just the usual well-pressed bars. They aren’t creating something new, but recreating some really nice drinks while serving up some nicely priced pints. And, bonus, it’s not posted all over every Internet sites (yet!) So, find yourself a new local here if you like a laid back vibe without anything too bobo. Plus it’s in the neighborhood that includes Red House, Café Moderne, Lone Palm, and le Calbar so it’s a great 6pm kick off for a crawl through the neighborhood.

Le Medusa
48 rue Basfroi
75011 Paris