Regular readers already know I have a soft spot for both Italy and aperos (aperitivos). So if, like me, you have these inclinations, read on!
Meriggio is a shop/food stop/bar that has recently opened with some serious Italians behind the scenes. And by that I mean that everyone doesn’t speak perfect English or French…but don’t we kinda dig being in a space where the people serving us the national food & drink only speak their language, right!?
Meriggio is a bright, light 2-flour space that might not catch your eye if you’re not paying attention. Downstairs, you can get your lunch, Italian pastries, Italian coffees, Italian meats, and more Italian stuff…all with a focus on things you can’t find in France already from the Boot.
But if you amble upstairs and make a bit of effort at the small bar, you might discover something interesting in terms of Italian aperitivos. They have a relatively small selection of spirits, but there are some worthwhile things going on in terms of Italian sips. Their overall goal is to introduce Parisians to Italian vermouths and aperitifs.
On the cocktail menu, they have four different sections, so lets take them one a at time:
Aperitivi: this is their section (which might be my favorite) that underscores the Italian skill at apero. Here, you’ll find classics like the negroni or negroni sbagliato (a kinda bubbly negroni) or something more unique like the Zuavo (a combo of Italian vermouths that kinda of rocked my world and is worth asking them about this history of….)
Spritz: I’ve loved the classic spritz for a decade. And I couldn’t get a person to drink it ten years ago, but now that Aperol has moved in with all their marketing it’s a bit of a rage in Paris. I’m good with that. But, I also appreciate that (like Ober Mama) Meriggio is doing some fun riffs on Spritz. So for newbies to the Italy style of aperos, I recommend the Cynar Spritz. The bartender noted that while Cynar may not be the “best” bitter in Italy, it’s unusual here, so a great way to introduce Parisians to Italian bitters.
Selection: Moving on… they have a selection of house drinks. I tried the Aurelia, which is good and easy drink for drinkers who like something fun and refreshing. It’s also impressive in terms of presentation. But I would still default to something from the prior two sections.
Finally, the last section is the Specialties: It’s a collection of sours and vermouths. The bartender, himself, said the whisky sour was just ‘regular.’ And I agree. On tasting it, I’d say it’s fine a sour, but my recommendation is to stay with the first two categories. Because why not have nice Italians showcase good Italian drinks. Or have dinner there and have them recommend a digestive – they will likely recommend an Italian vermouth.
In a nutshell, Meriggio, is a great stop to check out some Italian products, grab a lunch bite or enjoy an aperitif. And, for apero hour, they have also have a nice special: 15 Euros for a cocktail and an fab platter of Italian charcutrie & cheese.
3 Rue Rougemont