Steve and I took a trip to Paris a few weekends ago with the sole intention of eating delicious food, drinking great wine and taking in some wonderful sights. After a lot of research I decided that Frenchie was a restaurant I had to try but with a near impossible chance of securing a reservation we opted for the no reservations wine bar across the road (there's also a take away next door). We arrived 15 minutes before opening to make sure we secured a table and as the door opened we (and the rest of the queue) were hustled into a bare-brick, low lit tavern with a table next to the open kitchen.
I'm not a huge fan of wine, in fact I don't really drink it at all when I'm home but when I'm in France I always make an effort to sample a local bottle or two because it's always wonderful and not at all similar to the rubbish I come across at home. Being the novice I am I usually ask the waiter to help me decide, on this occasion I asked for something dry, around €30 and was told Macon-Villages was a lovely bottle. The waiter was right, the wine was lovely and crisp and definitely one of my favourite bottles over the weekend.
When it comes to food I am a huge fan of sharing, I don't really understand why people wouldn't want to as it's a chance to sample a greater selection of the menu, especially in a place you may only get one chance to visit. Steve being the helpful chap he is left me in charge of ordering and with a selection of meaty tapas style dishes with an American-French edge I found myself torn between so many options.
Much to my disappointment the steak tartare was sold out, thus making my choice of scallop dish a little easier. The tartare was delicious with a mix of incredibly fresh scallops in a tangy ceviche style sauce. The dish was moorish and the pomegranate seeds added a delightful burst of sweetness.
I loved the fact we were sitting next to the kitchen and could see our food being prepared, it definitely makes you appreciate the skill that is put into making a dish look so perfect. The potato gnocchi was an interesting one, tasting more like mash potato than any gnocchi I've had before. The truffles added a welcomed earthy tone and overall the plate was refined comfort, very enjoyable on a cold Parisian evening.
I always feel a little guilty ordering rabbit as I have a pet one at home but as soon as I tasted the ragu with home made pappardelle any guilt went out the window. The meat was tender, the pasta almost tangy with fresh lemon and the sauce rich in flavour.
The lobster roll was the first thing I knew I would order and despite it being a steep €24 for the portion size, I do not regret my decision in the slightest. The brioche roll was rich and buttery, the lobster succulent and meaty with an overall taste of pure indulgence.
Being the greedy carnivores that we are we choose a final meat dish over any sort of salad or vegetable. I'm glad we did because the melt-in-the-mouth duck was one of the stand out plates, with deep earthy flavours and sweet overtones from a combination of beets and root veg. I loved how colourful it looked.
With just enough room for dessert Steve had a lovely panacotta whilst I had the richest and most chocolatey mousse ever, indulgent and glorious this was a true chocolate lovers dessert!
After dinner we headed down the road for a few cocktails, stopping first at the Experimental Cocktail Club where they made me a delicious concoction of gin, lemon and whatever else I can't remember. It was a lovely sour and punchy drink.
Second stop was across the road at Jefrey's for a delightful apple pie cocktail. Despite the amalgamation of booze that evening I was hangover free the following day which is a testament to the quality of French alcohol.
Frenchie Wine Bar was an expensive meal, I think the bill came to €150 but I truly believe it was worth every cent. Of all the restaurants we visited that weekend this is the place I would come back to again. The atmosphere was busy yet casual, there was no pressure to order wine (gin and tonic was available) and the food spoke volumes, if you get the chance to visit I guarantee you will love it!