“Two well lauded Americans are delivering exceptional fusion cooking in cozy spot in the heart of The City of Light.”
Tucked away on a quiet side street adjacent to the Palais-Royal is a tiny wine bar located directly below one of the city’s most buzzed about restaurants. Both are run by an American couple – chef Braden Perkins and his girlfriend Laura Adrian. The pair came to prominence with the Renegade Dinner Parties they hosted in their Paris Apartment. Now they have their very own spot. Upstairs at Verjus you find a six course tasting menu featuring Perkins’ creative and distinctly American cuisine. Downstairs at Verjus Bar-a-vin, Adrian mans the wine bar and serves the seasonal small plates which stream down the spiral staircase from the kitchen. Seats at the bar-a-vin are first come first serve and getting there early to obtain a spot proved well worth our while. We were there on our bi-annual buying trip and were seeking something which would measure up to Frenchie Bar-a-vin (see previous post Two Dining Gems in Paris). And all I can say to that is Eureka!
When we arrived at 6:30 the place was already packed. The bar was filled with jovial Americans – but when we left three hours later the crowd had become decidedly French. Settling in at a spot along the wall we and ordered 2 glasses of the blackboard Chablis. Two retirees from Virginia were seated next to us. They had been Verjus and the Bar-a-vin on previuous trips and loved every experience. In particular they went on and on about the fried chicken. Fried Chicken in Paris – I was in.
All of the eight or so small shared plates we sampled were delicious. But the highlights were the dishes pictured above. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken pieces with Cabbage and Red Chiles delivered great flavor just as promised. But the Southern Style Hushpuppies with Honey Butter were the standout – crisp on the outside, cakey on the inside, super moist and just a tad bit sweet. Delicious. Another highlight – Celery Root Goyzas with “Dan Dan” Sauce and Toasted Peanuts. The Asian flavors were spot on. We also loved the Crispy Pork Belly with Grilled and Pickled Chilies. The chilies were white hot and well tempered with some spicy mayo. The dish reminded me of flavors I love in New Mexico. Another strong stop on the culinary world tour. For dessert we enjoyed a wonderful dish composed of Soft Cheese, Grilled Figs and Homemade Granola – the distinct textures held in perfect balance.
Well priced and well recommended glasses of wine flowed throughout the night and service was super friendly with just the right touch. Another “must go” on my paris list. (see previous post 14 Top Paris Picks for Bastile Day). And on our next trip we can’t wait to try the dinner service upstairs and the creative sandwiches they serve at the bar-a-vin Tuesday thru Friday from 12:30 to 2:00.
47 rue Montpensier
open Monday thru Friday from 6:00 until 11:00 pm
reservations are not accepted for the wine bar