Wednesday Cocktail Adventures: Panic Room
101, Rue Amelot
Tel: 01 58 30 93 43
We entered through a dingy front entrance that recalls the backdoor of a rockin' music club rather than a sleek sophisticated cocktail venue. But, no matter we are on the hunt for great mixed drinks, not necessarily upscale fancy decor.
Once inside the empty bar, the music blared at an almost uncomfortable level as we ordered our first round. While the Panic Room seems to have a fair number of bottles on their shelves, there was no dry vermouth, meaning a martini was out of the question.
I ordered a Fraislic (gin, fresh strawberries & basil) off their reasonably priced 8 Euros cocktail menu. Matt, Violaine & Wendy also ordered off the house menu, which comprises about 10 special creations. On the classics side, you'll find such standards as ti punch, cosmo, mojito (no surprise there) and long island ice tea. The general consensus was that the drinks were okay. Most were overly sweet for our taste and there was a sigh of relief when we found out we were getting happy hour prices of 5 Euros a drink.
The Panic Room offers up a few twists, that might make one think they've stumbled into a cocktail bar with more potential. They feature Hendrick's as well as Kubler Absinthe (which I personally am a fan of). The cute, young barman shows lots of spunk and confidence, and perhaps with a few more year's training might turn some of his cocksure attitude into serious cocktail savvy. The 2nd in command behind the bar was practicing rounds of free-pours with a water filled vodka bottle. It's one of these places that clearly caters to a "cocktail" crowd - just not exactly the level of cocktails I'm looking for.
So, while I personally won't head back here for cocktails, a young, boisterous crowd seeking sippables with a kick at nice happy hour prices will probably enjoy the vibe here.