Marcello: Turin Café Meets Brooklyn Bar in Paris

One of the best things about Paris in the Springtime? Terrace time! When it comes to drinking and dining al fresco, Paris has got it going on. And if you’re looking for this season’s new outdoor drinking destination, make a stop into the newly opened left-bank bar and restaurant Marcello.

The inspiration for this relaxed and loft-like newcomer is “Turin Café Meets Brooklyn Bar.” The Italian side is responsible for a full selection of products exclusively from ‘the boot’ and a focus on the apertivo while the NYC side is bringing the all-day service, finger foods and custom cocktails.

Not surprisingly with the Italian influence the cocktail menu focuses on the spritz.  Sure, in the past few years (with a big marketing push from Aperol) Paris has really gotten on board with the Aperol Spritz.  But, we’re not talking about this good but garden variety and now ubiquitous version. At Marcello, head barman, Pierre embraces the spritz as a style and has created a very nice range of them with 9 bubbly, summertime-fun options at 14 Euros each.

The list begins with their house version, the Marcello spritz, a more classic variation with Montenegro and Carpano but served in a big, solid rocks glass that you can comfortably wrap your fingers around for a “handshake in glass” (Pierre’s poetic description, not mine). The remaining run the gamut from sweet and soft like the gin-based Spritz Nuage to surprising like the Vanilla Sky with a house made bell pepper infused syrup adding an unusual layer of flavor. The Dubliner is made with an artisanal beer that serves as a great bitter backbone on which to build the drink.  And there are many more to discover in person rather than just reading a roster of options….

The menu also features four classic cocktails suggestions including an outstanding Manhattan made with Nikka Coffey Grain and Professore vermouth – or you can request a classic of your choice or a custom cocktail.  You’ll also find a few craft beers and some Italian wines to choose from.  And prosecco…. on tap!

Although you can order up full plates of pasta and the like from a nice selection of Turin inspired dishes and munchies, since there is a strong focus on apericena the finger foods are a fantastic choice. Any of the four arancinis will please those looking for some comfort food – with the truffled version taking things a level up. The mixed fried plate is classic with lightly battered crisp veggies and calamari.  The burrata is indulgent and creamy. The Tramezzine e Crostone (little apero sandwiches) are fresh and light.  But, the best call here is by the far “Les huitres du pauvre,” which translates as “poor man’s oysters” but aren’t oysters at all.  These small rounds of light bread are topped with a generous spread of butter, a lemon slice and anchovy.  They are unusual and excellent – and something you won’t find elsewhere in Paris.

In addition to some super food and drink, Marcello has another top selling point with its sweet courtyard terrace.  Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the street, you can settle in here and let time slip away.  You can even start early, as they’re open from 8am to midnight meaning you can kick off your day with an Italian croissant, lazily lunch on fresh pasta or graze your way through an aperitif or entire evening with their spritz and finger food. Plus, the service is easy going but attentive, so what’s not to like here?

photo: Claude Weber

With it’s cool and friendly attitude and topnotch Italian offerings, this little terrace looks set to be the perfect summer meeting point for the casually chic and friendly crowds.

Marcello
8 Rue Mabillon
75006 Paris