I don’t really know anyone outside of work here in Paris, except M. I know her from my undergrad, and had completely forgotten that she had moved to Paris to work earlier this year. We went for drinks a couple of times and realised that there were hundreds of restaurants in Paris that we both wanted to try, but hadn’t gotten round to yet, because we were both mostly alone.
We decided to rectify the situation by working our way through the Parisian eateries we were both desperate to try, together.
We decided to start with Bar à Vins. It’s run by Grégory Marchand (who trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London), and opened the restaurant Frenchie in 2009. We would have absolutely loved to go to there, but it’s almost impossible to get a table, so we settled for his much more accessible Bar à Vins instead. It has the same standard of food, but is more informal! It’s the second of three restaurants, all run by Marchand, on the narrow cobbled rue du Nil near Sentiers. His third place on the street, Frenchie To Go, is only open for lunch during the day, but it’s on my list!
You can’t make a reservation for Bar à Vins, so when we arrived at 7, there was already a queue. We managed to get a place no problem though, and were seated at one of the long tables meant to be shared with other diners.
The menu consists of smaller dishes, just a little larger than tapas – we ordered three plates between the two of us, and that was just enough. I’ve been a second time with another friend, and each time the menu was different, all seasonal produce and interesting flavours. Absolutely stuffed, I made room for a chocolate pot with olive oil and sea salt (delicious), and then after we paid the bill they brought out another dessert for us on the house! Meringue with berries and cream. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
As to be expected the wine was fantastic too. The atmosphere was cosy and the waiters were friendly . This is most definitely the best food I’ve had since being in Paris, and I’ll definitely be going back for a third visit.
Bar à Vins, 6, rue du Nil 75002 Paris
Phone: +33 (0)126.96.36.199.19
Subway 3, 4: Sentier, Réaumur Sébastopol