There’s something quite fascinating about bar dining.
Watching the chefs do their thing, grating this, chopping that, tasting it all, fixing the seasoning, dressing the plates, seeing your dishes being made in front of your very eyes… it never fails to make me want to order the whole menu!
Which is pretty much what happened at Frenchie Bar à Vins, a tiny but perfectly formed wine bar located Rue du Nil, in Paris’ trendy 2nd arrondissement.
Having just missed the last table on the 7 PM sitting, things didn’t seem to be going so well at first as we were told it’d take about an hour and a half to get seated.
But it simply looked too good to miss out on, and I had a good feeling about the place. So we settled in with a glass of wine. The time passed and soon enough, we were led to our table.
But not just any table. The best in the house, with direct views into Frenchie’s amazing kitchen.
Mesmerised by the chefs’ movements, distracted by the beautiful smells and dishes coming from the kitchen, it took us a while to order.
We started things off with a few more glasses of wine…
A rich, complex Bourgogne for him and an incredibly nutty Côtes du Jura for me.
Followed by one of everything on the menu that night (almost).
Homemade country style terrine and piccalilli
A generous serving of bacon-wrapped, super meaty pork terrine, perfectly complemented by the sharpness of the pickle-y piccalilli, prooving once again that classics done well are difficult to beat!
Burrata with pea shoots, Amalfi lemon and fresh almonds
A delicate flavour combination, creamy, fresh, interesting… and quite simply perfect!
Sweet & sour cauliflower fritters with seeds
Earthy cauliflower, sweet and sour Thai dressing, lime and seeds… an unlikely combination for sure, but it turned out to be one of those dishes you just want to keep on eating.
Rabbit pappardelle with black olives and confit lemon
A refreshing, zingy twist on the classic.
Heirloom tomato panzanella with goat’s curd.
Gorgeous Ricotta ravioli with fresh peas, clover and mushroom jus.
Clean, complex and inspired, it only took one bite for it to take the lead as the best vegetarian dish I’ve eaten sofar this year.
Octopus carpaccio with sun-dried tomatoes and sea trout roe.
Chicken with veal jus & broad bean risotto.
And the most beautiful Apricot tart with herb ice cream to top it all off.
With apricot jam, puree, roasted apricots and the dreamiest of pastries (soooo buttery and crumbly!), topped by a generous quenelle of fragrant thyme-flavoured ice cream, it was a wonder of taste and texture.
The kind you’d only share with your very favourite people in the world.
Which is just as well considering the intimate setting of Frenchie Bar à Vins. It’s not big, and it sure is popular, but it is well worth the wait.
Just make sure you make the most of your table when you get one.
Over-ordering absolutely compulsory!
Frenchie Bar à Vins, 5-6 rue du Nil, 75002 Paris