Wine bars are not a new phenomenon in Paris but a recent trend of combination restaurant-wine bars have caught our attention. It seems like a natural pairing and it is a setup that seems to be taking Paris by storm.
The concept is this: restaurants that require advance reservations, some that are very difficult to acquire, open a conjoining wine bar that serves a small-plate or limited menu version of the restaurant’s cuisine. This in a less formal, no reservations atmosphere.
Like the idea? We love it. And so do many others. The concept seems to be spreading like wildfire. Below are three of the pioneers of this trend and our favorites to help you taste some of the best cuisine in town, without the hassle of snagging a reservation.
Frenchie Bar à Vins
After a few years, the reservations at Gregory Marchand’s Frenchie Restaurant are still probably the most in-demand in town. If you can’t manage to snag a reservation, however, the Frenchie Bar à Vins is the place to go. Located directly across the street from the restaurant, the food is equally as good as the main restaurant and the extensive and enticing wine list will have you downing bottles before you know it!6 rue du Nil, 75002 Metro: Sentier Monday-Friday, 7p.m.-10:30p.m.
Verjus Bar à Vins
Frenchie opened their wine bar after the success of their restaurant. Laura and Braden, the masterminds behind Paris’ most famous dinner club, Hidden Kitchen, opened their downstairs wine bar before the long awaited opening of their first restaurant, Verjus. The natural wines are mouthwatering but the fried chicken and shoestring fries are the real winners in this small and intimate wine bar.47 rue de Montpensier, 75001 Metro: Pyramides Monday-Friday, 6pm-11pm; closed Saturday and Sunday
After their summer closing in 2012, Pierre Jancou’s Vivant reopened as Vivant Table with a more upscale menu and a new chef. To accompany the restaurant’s makeover, Vivant Cave opened up next door. The natural wines can be purchased by the bottle to go but can also be enjoyed at the bar or at one of the few tables accompanied by one of the dishes of the day or a delicious plate of charcuterie and cheese.43 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Metro: Bonne Nouvelle Open Mon-Friday from 12-2pm and 7-10pm, Closed Sat & Sun