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Simple restaurants with great wine lists


Margaret Pilgrim
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The recent discussion on sommeliers caused me to reflect on retaurants where the wine lists read like a tutorial. Maybe we could share our favorites. I am not thinking of those whose lists are impressive because of expensive, hard to find older bottles, such as Le Villeret and Astier, but rather those who offer a wide range of moderately current bottles from top producers around the country. Two immediately come to my mind.

In Paris, the entire back wall of Le Marsangy is a chalkboard that lists the best of the country's small producers. Name a region, think of a producer, he is there. And the prices make tasting affordable but choosing hard.

Le Marsangy, 73, Avenue Parmentier, 11e, 01 47 00 94 25

And with John T in mind, I think of the incredible list at L'Auberge du Cedre , the hotel/restaurant connected to the Domaine de Cazeneuve in the Languedoc, which lists every fine producer in the area, again at very approachable prices.

eGullet member #80.

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La Grange Bateliere, at #16, is a small Bistro in the 9th that specializes in reasonablly priced wines from small vintners. I only recognized a few names on their list. Food is quite good, albeit not the bargain it once was.

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A few others in Paris known to have interesting wine lists (mostly natural) are Le Bistral, Le Temps au Temps, Aux Zingots, and Le Severo.

Edited to specifiy that these are all in Paris

Edited by Felice (log)

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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My favorite Le Vieux Pont in Belcastel has a well balanced and moderately priced list with an emphasis's on regional wines.

Their monthly 'coup de coeur' wines are amazingly good. Less than 20 Euros! In a starred restaurant! And totally delicious! (I know delicious is not a normal wine term,but you get my meaning.)

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Although it does not have a wine list as such, Le Rouge Gorge on the Rue St Paul in the Marais is worth adding to this thread.

M Briclot, the owner, is also a wine merchant and every bottle in the cave can be taken at the table for a small mark-up - you simply go down the stairs and pick what you want in the cellar.

Wines are invariably from small growers, often from pretty obscure parts of France. The staff in this small restaurant/wine bar are helpful which is very useful as the wines themselves may not be familiar for most of us.

I've been there many times over the years - its a great place to go and eat with a bunch of friends who enjoy working their way through a few interesting bottles without breaking the bank. You'll eat very well for under €25 - what you drink is up to yourself but there are no really expensive wines.

The capacity is not large (maybe 25 or 30) so best book if you are more than two - telephone is 01 48 04 75 89.

Also strongly agree with Margaret about the Auberge du Cedre list - it's such a pleasure just to read the annotations (on the house copy - the online list is a good bit shorter) and the prices even on older wines are very fair, to the extent of leaving you feeling not too bad when you've gone beyond the intended budget!

Edited by kerriar (log)
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