Writer Jane Sigal hit every arrondissement in Paris in search of culinary brilliance. Here, Paris wine bars with fantastic food and amazing bottles.
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Paris Wine Bars
With traditional cafés disappearing in Paris, this retro-fabulous 1950s wine bar, with its Formica-and-copper bar, is a heartening throwback. David Loyola, an alum of Le Chateaubriand, has created a natural-wine list with plenty of quirky bottles (like a sparkling rosé from the Loire’s Grolleau grape) and a brief menu with simple, superfresh dishes, like buffalo mozzarella with zucchini and olive puree.
At Guillaume Dupré’s bare-bones space in a 19th-century covered arcade, the wines are natural, from such cult producers as Eric Pfifferling, and the chef cooks like a grandmère who’s never heard of a supermarket (try the pan-roasted chicken with tarragon crème fraîche) The 14.50-euro prix fixe lunch is an especially good deal.
Bracing country wines from small appellations in southwest France (Irouléguy and Marcillac, for instance) are the specialty of Julien Duboué’s sprawling Basque café near the rue Mouffetard market. The tall blackboard menu is filled with great dishes that are served all day, a rarity in Paris. One highlight: the fried tapas, including soft-centered polenta bars flecked with smoked duck and magnificent pig’s-feet nuggets.
Arnaud Bradol’s stellar wine bar in a turreted 17th-century stone building near the haute shopping zone Place des Victoires combines a phenomenal selection of over 500 biodynamic and organic wines from all over the world with seasonal dishes like veal carpaccio with roasted potatoes. The ingredients come from a who’s who of Parisian purveyors, such as star butcher Hugo Desnoyer and vegetable king Joël Thiébault.lesfinesgueules.fr
Frédéric Hubig-Schall favors Burgundy, Rhône and Loire wines in magnums and jeroboams at this chic épicerie-bar decorated with crates of round zucchini, olive paste and cookbooksall for sale. (Wines by the glass and in 750-milliliter carafes are also available.) The foie gras terrine is ultrarich, and a constantly spinning rotisserie turns out perfectly crispy chicken and duck.Photo courtesy of Verre Volé.
At this pioneering natural-wine shop and bar, you can still buy a bottle off the shelf and walk it to the Canal Saint-Martin for a picnic. But now that Cyril Bordarier serves daily market specials like seared cod with baby artichokes—alongside his regular menu of charcuterie and sausages—there’s an excellent reason to stay for dinner.leverrevole.fr
Jane Sigal is a contributing editor to F&W. She is working on a book about Le Cirque.
Video: Ray Isle Talks French Wines
Last updated August 2012.