Friday Night – A La Française

Happy Friday tout le monde! I don’t know about you, but this week has flown by for me. Not that I’m any less pleased about it being (practically) the weekend! And I’m going to celebrate by telling you about this absolutely FAB place I discovered last Friday.

I say ‘discovered’… It was discovery by way of recommendation, rather than one I simply stumbled across – my lovely colleague sent me a long list of her favourite eateries and watering holes in Paris with the insistence that I start trying them out tout de suite and giving her my feedback. Which reminds me, I do actually need to tell her I went here. Oops.

Anyway, the place was (is) called ‘L’Accord Parfait’ which loosely translates into something along the lines of the perfect match, or the perfect agreement. It denotes harmony and conviviality and as such, the name had jumped out at me from my colleague’s list.

A quick Google search later and I was sold. ‘L’Accord Parfait’, it transpired, was a Cave & Bar à vin. If you don’t already know, cave translates to ‘cellar’ in English and it’s also the name given to a wine shop in France. So, this place was a wine shop where you could also drink the wine. Excellent.

A little further research (the cave’s own website) revealed that it was a venture               on the part of two friends – a photo showed a cheerful-looking man and woman who looked to be in their twenties – who decided to create something out of their shared passion for wine and jazzy vinyl.

It sounded right up my street and best of all, could be found in the 15th Arrondissement, within easy walking distance from my apartment  On y va!

So, Friday night found my date and I venturing into this tiny cave on Rue des Entrepreneurs with high hopes, keen to try something new. As could be expected, the walls were lined with tall shelves, stacked floor-to-ceiling with a selection of French wines. There was a large wine barrel in the window being used as a table by two women deep in animated conversation over a cheese board, and the remaining shop floor was dotted with more conventional tables and chairs.

We were greeted on entry by one of the proprietors (I recognized him at once from the website), who asked us if we’d made a reservation. Fortunately he wasn’t deterred by the fact that we hadn’t, and led us to a pair of high stools and a round table so small, I had initially taken it to be a third stool. However, there was one problem: it transpired that, due to their license, they weren’t able to serve wine for consumption on the premises – unless it was accompanied by a meal. Quelle horreur, what could we possibly do?

We’d just have to have some food.

Shame.

We ordered a mixed platter of charcuterie and fromage and I went to scan the shelves for a bottle of wine. Settling on a red that I wish I could remember the name of, I brought it over to the table and – voila – a pair of wine glasses materialized, along with the platter and a basket full of fresh bread.

 One of my favourite things about this country, incidentally: Access To Baguette is basically a human right. Eat at any restaurant in France and you can pretty much guarantee your meal (whatever that meal may be) will be accompanied by a basket of the lovely stuff. Always free of course – heaven forbid you should have to pay for something you are so thoroughly entitled to. It’s great.

The baguette that came with this meal was particularly delicious too – as was everything else. The cheeses were comté and tomme, two particular favourites of mine (admittedly I do have a LOT of favourite cheeses) and to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t tell you what the cured meats were – some kind of prosciutto, perhaps, and something less identifiable using my very sparse cured meat knowledge – but they were bloody good. And it goes without saying that the wine was fantastic. Bien sûr.

Apart from the food and wine, the whole place had this wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, with the promised jazz records playing softly in the background and the owners enjoying a glass of wine each behind the bar in between advising and chatting with their customers about all things wine and vinyl.

Overall, it was a simply wonderful experience – not to mention an inexpensive one, which is pretty hard to come by if you want someone else to prepare your food in Paris.  Honestly, I couldn’t recommend the place more.

I have just one question: when can I go back?

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