Wednesday Cocktail Adventure: Pershing Hall Lounge
49, rue pierre charron
Tel : +33 (0) 158 365 800
The Pershing Hall lounge is a deliberately cool and fashionable space. High tables mix with low loungey sofas in a large and dimly lit room. Ambiance is mainly a result of (slightly overplayed) lighting effects: notably the red glass chandeliers and lamps and violet lighting at the bar. Unfortunately upon arrival I realized my camera batteries were dead so the pictures taken with Matt's phone don't do it justice or show the impressive vertical garden as seen from the mezzanine. At this early hour, the youngish crowd, attracted by the promise of ambient DJs, were not exactly the uber-beautiful people I would have expected to find in this place (but the staff all were).
Waiting for Matt, I ordered my martini with a choice of Tanqueray 10 or Bombay Sapphire. The bartender poured a good measure of Nouilly Pratt into the shaker without offering a "shaken or stirred" option. Then, sadly, he dumped out the vermouth, merely coating the shaker with it before pouring the Bombay Sapphire. My drink came decorated with a lime twist and a couple of drops of Angostura bitters added directly to the finished drink and sinking to the bottom to create a (presumably unintentional) pretty faded effect. But, they needed to be stirred in to avoid a progressively bitter sipping experience. Shaking was noncommittal and this rather hot martini was served in a warm glass.
A small square bowl of peppery potato chips joined my glass at the bar. The glass itself wobbled. At first I thought it might be the bar that was uneven, but after trying it in several spots I realized it was, in fact, the glass that swayed slightly no matter where it stood (much like one might do themselves with a bit too much martini in them).
Matt loved the decor and ordered a cosmopolitan, which he also really enjoyed. I followed my martini with a Fuzzy Frog (whiskey, peach schnapps, lime juice). Assuming the "Fuzzy" comes from the peach schnapps, I wondered where the "Frog" part came in. You'd think instead of whiskey they would have mixed it with some French if they call it a "Frog". It was fine, but didn't thrill me. The whiskey overwhelmed the other flavors instead of blending into a nice and new taste sensation.
The cocktails range from 18 Euros (the price of my martini) to 28 Euros. Their champagne menu is extensive, but slightly overpriced when compared to some other champagne bars in Paris. They've put a lot of thought into creating a cool design, but less thought into the cocktails - which are fine, but not good enough for me to make this a regular stop.