Friday, August 17, 2012

Frenchie Wine Bar

I feel like everyone, everywhere is talking about Frenchie. It's impossible to get a booking, phoning gets you an answering machine in French and you need to book months in advance. In other words, you need to be organised if you're going to go. Organising months in advance has never been my strong point. But the wine bar across the street has recently expanded and does small plates from it's own tiny kitchen and doesn't take reservations. My kind of place. I'm told the plates are similar to what you get at the main restaurant but, not having eaten there, I can't say for sure.


For us, the wine bar was perfect. We had some trouble finding it (down a very quiet and dark street) but it was worth the search. It was casual and relaxed. We arrived only at 10pm (having had drinks at the Pompidou Centre first) and had no difficulty finding a table. We weren't excessively hungry (for some reason all our eating out happened on Monday so our lunch at Le Comptoir had only finished at 5.30pm) and the small plate options suited us fine. The sommelier helped us choose wine (I wrote down what we drank but sadly my writing is indecipherable so all I know is that it was a champagne followed by a red - it was a super fun night out, the details got somewhat lost in the aftermath).


We ordered the tomato salad and peaches with burrata first. The tomato salad was served with cherries and herbs (coriander, parsley, oregano) all tossed together with a vinagrette and some toasted bread. It tasted like the essence of tomatoes: fresh, salty, almost palate cleansing. The peaches were sweet, the cheese soft and the balsamic glaze gave just a hint of tang. Next up was a pasta of papardelle with lamb ragu - the lamb sauce was heavy and filling, the pasta, large and smooth. After that we had coppa with tiny mushrooms and onions. The coppa melted in the mouth sending me to instant pig heaven.


Finally we ordered two desserts. An apricot mousse with salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb as well as a chocolate pot with raspberries and caramel. The apricot dessert was my favourite - the mousse light and slightly sour, the caramel ice cream cold and sweet. The honeycomb adding crunch.


As someone who is intimidated by fancy smancy restaurants where the waiters regard you with disdain but the food is excellent, Frenchie wine bar was the perfect choice. The staff were friendly, the chefs wandering around checking on things, the atmosphere relaxed but jovial. The food was excellent and reasonably affordable. It's the kind of place that I'd make an effort to visit again, on my next trip to Paris.

I took no photographs at Frenchie - it wasn't the kind of night for photographs so these are scenes from Paris instead: looking towards Notre Dame; drinking wine whilst sitting perched on the windowsill; Notre Dame; the church of St-Germain-des-Pres.

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