Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Le Verre Volé - Paris

Is Canal St Martin the Paris LES?
On the train to work each morning, I squeeze my Kindle with stubby fingers and read the NY Times like it's a lifeline to home.  Rarely does the Times strike a false note but today, as I read a story about Paris restaurants, I bristled at the comparison between Canal St Martin and New York's Lower East Side.  The LES?  Seriously?  News flash - ALL the interesting neighborhoods and food in NY are in the outer boroughs, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens.  It would be more apt to say that Le Verre Volé resides in Paris' equivalent of Williamsburg, Red Hook or maybe even Gowanus.
Le Verre Volé is a wine bar with very good food.  Matter of fact, I was more impressed with the eats than I had any reason to be.  It was described to me as a great place for inexpensive natural wines and side snacks like charcuterie and cheese.  Far from the truth.  I did love the wine - our bottle arrived sporting a small inflatable jacket to keep it cool - something I've never seen.  However, the food more than held it's own.  Both the bulots (sea snails) above and the carpaccio de lieu jaune (coley fish?) below were amazing.
Even better were the thick slices of  ham.  They were impossibly juicy, a trick that escapes me.  I've made many hams and I don't know how they did it, it took the slightest knife pressure to glide through it.  It was gone in minutes.
My colleague raved about her black pudding.  She's petite and managed to wrangle this whole chunk, chewing with her eyes closed half the time.
It's just steps from the canal in the Canal St. Martin neighborhood, an area that reminds me of certain parts of Brooklyn - sorry NY Times.  And yes, it's in the 10th (a place, gasp, that might be like going all the way on the train to Brooklyn.)  It's wall-lined with wine bottles and you'll be packed in like sardines at mismatched tables and chairs.  It's got cool without trying.  Good value, very good wine and food to match.  On the "Frenchy" scale, it's a nine.  If you're not in Paris very long, make this one of the places you try.  You'll be happy you did.
67 rue de Lancry
10th Arondissement

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  1. Guess this will not be recommended to boring non wine drinkers like me? Sad....

  2. @Dodo - ummm, as the pictures and words show, it's all about the food. You can watch me empty the bottle, woohoo!