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Paris Wine Bars


Freckles
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Right: la Robe et le Palais has an important wine list, and some fine charcuterie. They've also opened another wine bar, not far away, called Les Dessous de la Robe (it used to be the old Relais chablisien).

"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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I visited le Baron Rouge, 1, rue Théopile-Roussel two years ago on a Sunday in March. It was closed. There was a big handwritten sign in the window - something about Americans. I didn't take the time to translate it, but it didn't seem very friendly. A few days later, intrepid as I am, I stopped by again. Had a few glasses of wine and a meat plate. Bought a bottle of something to take out. Service good, but not friendly at all.

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We were in le Baron Rouge last September on a Sunday. We met friends. Actually we met the American daughter of an old friend in NY and her French boyfriend. They lived in the area and were going to be shopping in the nearby Aligre market, so it was a good meeting place. I don't actually recall anything that resembled service, good, bad, friendly, or otherwise. Mrs. B secured some oysters while I fought my way to the bar where I obtained four glasses of wine to bring outside and enjoy with the oysters we shared while leaning on a parked car for support. It's that kind of place that's always a joy to find, but bound to be disappointing if you've already been told about it.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I would go back to le Baron Rouge in a heartbeat. For that matter, I'd go back to Paris today if I could. I loved the Algerie market on Sunday, too. Bought bread and cheese for 'dinner.' The other wine bar I liked was the lesser one owned by Juveniles - I can't recall the name. Good food, too.

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Le Rubis on the rue du Marché St Honoré is a terrific wine bar. It's old and authentic, in spite it's upscale neighborhood. The charcuterie is good as well.

If you don't mind cigarette smoke, A l'Ami Pierre at 5, rue de la Main d'Or is rather fun in the 11th. It's off the beaten path and friendly. The wines are not 'serious' but it's a fun place. I did eat there once and it was nothing special, but it's a lively place to have a glass.

And Le Baron Rouge, as others have pointed out, is great.

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Our favorite is Juveniles.

Also, Willi's even though its touristy.

We were in Tartine a few weeks ago and the barkeep was horribly rude.

We tried a wine bar in the new Bercy shopping center that was good.

Unfortunately, the Bercy shopping area looks like Disney to me, very fake looking.

But the wine bar there was good.

Philly Francophiles

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We were in le Baron Rouge last September on a Sunday. We met friends. Actually we met the American daughter of an old friend in NY and her French boyfriend. They lived in the area and were going to be shopping in the nearby Aligre market, so it was a good meeting place. I don't actually recall anything that resembled service, good, bad, friendly, or otherwise. Mrs. B secured some oysters while I fought my way to the bar where I obtained four glasses of wine to bring outside and enjoy with the oysters we shared while leaning on a parked car for support. It's that kind of place that's always a joy to find, but bound to be disappointing if you've already been told about it.

I aggree with you about the tight and impersonal space.I don't understand what people see in le baron rouge. the wine selection is average.I am used to a friendly,

Warm place with a wide selection of reasonable wines.

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I aggree with you about the tight and impersonal space.I don't understand what people see in le baron rouge. the wine selection is average.I am used to a friendly,

Warm place with a wide selection of reasonable wines.

It's a place to grab some oysters on the run. It's next to a colorful market, although perhaps not one of the best in Paris.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello! Some girlfriends and I are starting a group to try wine bars in different arrondissements in Paris. We're going in order, starting with the FIRST. Can any of you recommend a good wine bar somewhere, anywhere, in the 1st arrondissement?

Many thanks in advance? Freckles!

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Hello!  Some girlfriends and I are starting a group to try wine bars in different arrondissements in Paris.  We're going in order, starting with the FIRST.

Try this one:

LE RUBIS

10, rue du Marché Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris

Remember that there are twenty arrondissements in Paris; your group should be in an interesting shape by the time you reach the vingtième. Bon courage ! :laugh:

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Legrand in the Galleries Vivienne (other entrance on rue de la Banque) which is just north of the Palais Royale and consequently across rue rue des Petits-Champs in the 2ième arr. although really almost across the street from Willi's. Willi's was packed the night we tried to find a place at the bar or at a table.

Some information and photographs of Legrand here.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Legrand in the Galleries Vivienne (other entrance on rue de la Banque) which is just north of the Palais Royale and consequently across rue rue des Petits-Champs in the 2ième arr. although really almost across the street from Willi's. Willi's was packed the night we tried to find a place at the bar or at a table.

Some information and photographs of Legrand here.

Legrand isn't open in the evenings though, I think they close at 19h30. I tried to go one night and it was closed.

I just went to Juveniles the other night which is in the 1st. They have a great selection of wine from all over the world. 47 rue de Richelieu.

There is also La Cloche des Halles which I've always wanted to try. 28 rue coquilliere, 1st.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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okay. Emailed my friends and the 8 of us are going to Juveniles. I would like to make a reservation, since I know these places can be packed. But they're not picking up the phone at the moment. Does anyone know if I need to make reservations here? Thanks!

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I seemed to recall Legrand closing early and neglected to mention that. We stayed in the 1ière a few times and I recall thinking it would have been a nice place to have a late nitecap after dinner, but when enquiring about the closing time, I learned they wouldn't be open. Nevertheless I also believe they run wine dinners from time to time, so I didn't have a clear memory of the closing time.

Juveniles is a small bar that wasn't at all crowded when we were there. It was quite casual, pleasantly disheveled in a welcoming manner. I don't recall it having a very varied selection of food, but it was otherwise a nice place to share some wine.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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okay.  Emailed my friends and the 8 of us are going to Juveniles.  I would like to make a reservation, since I know these places can be packed.  But they're not picking up the phone at the moment.  Does anyone know if I need to make reservations here?  Thanks!

If you are going to be a group, I'd make a reservation anyway. That way they're prepared and you won't be disappointed.

Have a great time :smile:

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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[if you are going to be a group, I'd make a reservation anyway.  That way they're prepared and you won't be disappointed.

I recommend the reservation too. Juveniles is not a large place.

I had thought of it, and of Willi's Wine Bar too, but those places are more restaurants than bars. The reason I recommended Le Rubis is that it is a true bar, serving a bit of charcuterie on the side, Loire wines being a specialty. It is typically Parisian (Juveniles being more internationally-minded) and an institution of some sort. As for Legrand, it is not actually a wine bar but a "caviste" that opened a restaurant area fairly recently. Hence the weird opening hours. I would recommend it for tasting great wines though.

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The distinctions between wine bars and other establishments serving wine by the glass and between types of wine bars are interesting. Just as we all know the difference between a restaurant, bistrot and brasserie (actually we don't, people ask all the time) the distinctions are often blurred. The same with wine bars.

There's a cafe near a hotel we like that has wicker chairs (probably really plastic) and tables outside where we've met friends for coffee, beer or even lunch. The have decent salades and better sausages and aligoté. They offer a nice selection, particularly beaujolais, by the glass and en carafe, but I think of it more as a cafe than a restaurant or wine bar. Hanging over the bar however, it a framed certificate naming it "wine bar of the year" sometime in the 1990s.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Roughly speaking, the distinction lies between bars à vins and bistrots à vins.

In a bistrot à vins (which is a restaurant), you may have complete meals at a table with entrée, plat, dessert. The choice of wines will be lavish and appealing, and they will be served many ways: by the bottle, by the fillette, by the pot, by the glass, etc., and sometimes "au compteur" (they put the bottle on your table and you pay only for what you consume). It is a bistrot putting a special emphasis on the wines. Examples: le Pré Verre, L'Ecluse, Juveniles.

The bar à vins is more like a café specializing in wines and serving light dishes, mostly based on charcuterie, cheese, sandwiches or tartines. The wines play the main part. Examples : Le Rubis, La Taverne Henri IV, La Tartine.

There is also the classical Parisian café with a particular emphasis on wines: for instance, Le Soleil d'Austerlitz on boulevard de l'Hôpital. It doesn't look different from any other local troquet or bistrot, only the presence of good wines is advertised somehow, like "Coupe du Meilleur Pot (year follows)" painted on a glass pane. This kind of place is quite different from the two others. It often serves food and plats du jour like any other café-brasserie.

There are also restaurants where wine is a big thing (example : La Maison de l'Aubrac on rue Marbeuf) but their size, prices and general aspect place them in the category of restaurants, not bistrots. And much less bars à vins.

When I think "bar à vins", I think of a place, often not very spacious, selling a large selection of wines by the glass and a few tartines or assiettes. Most of the time people don't sit there to eat but come there for l'apéritif, stand up by the counter or lean on it. They can sit down too but rarely for the whole evening.

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thank you all for your help. We went to Juveniles tonight and had a terrific time.

I got together a group of 10; we met at 8PM and stayed, chatted and laughed until 11. Good thing we made a reservation! Even on a Tuesday night, it was completely full by 9PM.

Not the prettiest of places... a tiny spot but a wide selection of wines. The service wasn't particularly pleasant. A waiter gave a long, piercing whistle at one point in the evening because he thought our table was too loud. Well, we were laughing and talking, but not at an especially high volume (even by French standards). As my (Parisian) boyfriend stated, Parisian waiters just HATE to see foreigners having a good time.

High ratings for its wine selection, poor ratings for the avaiability of street parking in the neighbourhood, and medium ratings for the space itself.

April: Second Arrondissement. Any thoughts?

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L'Angevin, 168, rue Montmartre (Tel: 01 42 36 20 20) is what comes to my mind. But it will be rather in the same style as Juvenile's, only larger.

A waiter gave a long, piercing whistle at one point in the evening because he thought our table was too loud. Well, we were laughing and talking, but not at an especially high volume (even by French standards). As my (Parisian) boyfriend stated, Parisian waiters just HATE to see foreigners having a good time.

See, that's exactly why I recommended Le Rubis in the first place :smile: , seeing that you obviously were a group expecting to "have a good time". Some bars à vins are clearly designed tfor this, some are somewhat stuffier. L'Angevin may be of the same sort.

However, I disagree with your (albeit Parisian) boyfriend. Parisian waiters are not such monsters. You've probably just had a rude one.

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In the 2nd, I discovered Le Mesturet last Fall. It is very casual, friendly, has a bar section as well as table service offering reasonably priced daily specials. It calls itself a bistrot à vins and is on Richelieu close to the Bourse.

Edited by Laidback (log)
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