Wednesday Cocktail Adventure: Flute
19, Rue de l'étoile
Tel : 01 45 72 10 14
I have very few guiding life principles. Aside from general stuff, you know like being a nice person, blah, blah, blah, I can think of three things that I hold as personal self-evident truths: 1. Never turn down a chance to go to Italy. 2. Never turn down a chance to get on a boat. 3. Always make time for good friends. I've been a bit too busy these days. Too much work, too many projects, too much laundry. Since most of my fellow testers are on holiday right now, I almost cancelled Wednesday Cocktail Adventures this week to try and find some extra time to get my life in order. But at the request of some very good friends to accompany them to Flute, I decided that catching up with my friends was more important than catching up with my laundry. So, off I went....
I have already reviewed Flute on eGullet when it first opened. So, while not a new destination for me, it was good to return to suss out the current situation. Flute is primarily a champagne bar, with a wide range of bubbly at reasonable prices. The Paris Flute has been open for a couple of years – the two other Flutes in New York have been open for 10+ years. The tiny downstairs area holds no more than a handful of people pressed up against the bar, so the larger upstairs area is where most of the clients install themselves. Previously they suggested reserving for drinks, but I think the place has become a bit more casual these days.
I was particularly taken by Flute on my first visit and it even held a spot on my top five list for some time. That bartender has since moved on and been replaced by handsome & accommodating Antonio. I'll skip the details about how great it was in the beginning because things have changed a bit. You can still see the work of the prior barman in the house creations listed on the menu, which are tasty, balanced and interesting. However, Antonio's strong point is super friendly service & attention to recipes. This was evidenced by my completely warm martini (no shaking, no stirring, no nothing) which was not something on the already established menu. I asked him to put it back in the shaker and stir it, which he did with no problem or defensiveness. He asked me a few questions about martinis in general and was sincerely curious and inquisitive. I give him an A+ for effort, but I can't really give him high marks for his own cocktail making skills.
Still, I believe the bar is an interesting stop for a cocktail - or even better some champagne. They don't have a lot of stock, but what they have is nice. The champagne cocktails are refreshing and well-made.
Live jazz music entertains on some evenings and Sundays is "American Night" when their New York staff who are in Paris for the moment get behind the bar. (I wonder how that might change the cocktail options.) They're boastful of their mojitos & will be having a tasting with a large variety of of rums at the end of August. They still have their Tuesday happy hour with a 2nd drink offered, which is a good deal considering the regular prices at 12 - 14 Euros.
If you're in the area, stop in with some good friends and have Antonio make you something off the already established menu and he'll do it to right. Just don't expect him to freestyle anything.