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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wednesday Cocktail Adventure: Murano

NOTE: For searching convenience, i'm cutting and pasting my earlier entries from eGullet before my blog existed, so there are no photos for these first few & these are not recent entries - i just thought it would be better for them to all be in one place...just some housekeeping!:

3, Boulevard du Temple,
Paris 75003 (note: in a few websites the address is listed as 13 – but that’s a typo online, not mine – it is number 3)

When a drinks menu lists regular old Johnny Walker at 16 Euros a shot, you already know you’re paying in big part for atmosphere in addition to the booze. And, the Murano does deliver atmosphere. You walk into open, bright lobby with spacey, modern chairs and a decorative (yet functional) ‘fireplace’ that runs the entire length of one wall. This first seating area seems a bit sterile, but still modern and hip. Passing into the bar proper area, it’s dimmer, but colorful and modern with flashy videos playing on the wall behind the bar.

A few reviews I read told me that this is where the beautiful people drink. Apparently, that means the beautiful people with cash, because the drinks are, on average, 20 Euros. Here, I had no qualms ordering my martini exactly to specification. Their house gin is Bombay Sapphire, which I didn’t bother changing, since I haven’t changed from the house on any of my other martini excursions (and somehow I like that consistency). It came, just as I ordered, nice a cold and with an olive. But, for 19 Euros, I pretty much expected it to come just as I had ordered. My fellow drinkers had a couple of froufy fruity drinks. I don’t remember the names, but they were basically hyped up fruit juice with lots of fancy cut and splayed fruits and accessories. They also brought a small selection of upscale munchies – this is not a peanuts-in-a-ramekin bar – you get little dips and pizza-like bites.

The service was top notch. I was talking to the waiter about martinis, telling him I was on a quest for good ones. His first question: “have you been to the experimental cocktail club?” (So far this still remains my top choice for an excellent price/quality value)

I can be a sucker for cute little gimmicky things – like their bloody mary ‘degustation’, which is three small bloody marys made with red, green and yellow(?) tomato juice. I probably would have tried that for my next drink(s), but neither of my drinking partners wanted to stay for the usual second round. Even with the uber-chic ambience, they didn’t feel like the price was worth the experience.

And, personally, while I don’t have a problem with paying a little more for the whole package, the Murano is a little too out of the way for me and a little too expensive to trek all the way there for cocktails on a regular basis, even if they were nice. (, if you’re a big vodka fan this might be your place as they specialize in it and have a really wide range.

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