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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rooftop Cocktail Adventures: le 7th

le 7th, Terrass Hotel
12-14 rue Joseph-de-Maistre
75018 Paris
Tél. : +33

I think it's important to (at least try to) be aware of our faults and to correct them. One of my current personal fault projects: I'm a little bit of a grudge holder. So, when the restaurant atop the Terrass Hotel started fluctuating too much in service and quality for the price, I stopped indulging in their rooftop dining and mentally crossed them off my list of possible eats. That doesn't mean I wasn't longing for a bit of terrace time with them, but I was loath to pay full whack for a meal or talk my way into one of the very few spots for a drink to get it. And, then like an ex strolling back into my life with promise of change, they came up with their latest summer scheme.

No longer are reservations or long meal commitments necessary to enjoy the expansive view. The Terrass Hotel was now teasing me back with its latest rooftop transformation: le 7th. All summer, the rooftop terrace serves exclusively as a no reservations cocktail bar and lounge with the option of finger foods, burgers, salads and pasta should you feel peckish. Maybe we could get back together after all? I met up there with Wednesday regulars Matt, Vio and Mel as well as visiting style-meister cocktillians (and more) Howie and Tawny, to find out.

Once I made it past the multiple lobby staff and onto the roof, I immediately remembered what brought us together in the first place. The view is special. The faux-grass green matting gives the impression of stepping onto a healthy (but well manicured) lawn and the space is open, airy and relaxed. And, clearly this place has caught more than just my eye. The night of our reunion was a busy one with an abundance of the suit and earpiece crowd.

The drinks menu features 17 classics such as martini, manhattan and negroni and 9 house creations including three mojito riffs, all at 14 Euros each. My usual first order was a disappointment of proportions. While, I like a bit of vermouth in my martini, this was too much. Of the three gins on offer (Bombay, Gordon's and Tanqueray) my guess is they're using Gordon's for the martinis. Opinions varied on the other drinks. In the surprisingly good category were the gin fizz, manhattan and strawberry basil mojito. The caipi was another overly sweet disappointment and the planter's punch tasted of spiked juicebox.

Like many places, pretty garnishes can initially distract from the actual quality of the drink. The attention to visual details and fluctuation in cocktail quality says to me that there are some good intentions behind the bar, but maybe a lack of range and/or knowledge when it comes to serious cocktail skills. Warm weather clients looking for a bit of summer fun without high end cocktail expectations, will enjoy perching above Paris with something cold in hand. But, I would personally love to see a bit more consistency and attention to some of the mixers.

A flute of Lanson Black Label champagne goes for 15 (white) or 16 (Rose), and wines by the glass at 5 to 7 Euros seem a steal when you take into account the view. But, if you want to stick with the cocktails, I'd recommend either a Basil Strawberry Mojito when warm summer evenings call for something with plenty of refreshing crushed ice or a Manhattan once the temp drops with the setting sun.

Opinions on service fluctuated as well. I found the servers helpful in getting us all situated around the table with everyone arriving at different times and attentive about taking orders. However, there were a couple of glitches with Matt's final beer order and everyone found the pseudo-seriousness of the downstairs staff a bit daunting. Fluctuations aside, we had - as usual - a great time together testing and tasting. And, while I snapped the usual pics, Howie captured the moments on paper.

So, Hotel Terrace, I'm no longer holding a grudge. You seem to be making an effort to change. And, while I don't know what our future together holds, I could maybe be down with a summer fling.

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Anonymous Nicky @dirtandmartinis said...

I hope you enjoy your summer fling Forest. Those views are pretty amazing!

May 12, 2011 at 4:26 AM  
Blogger Forest said...

Thanks Nicky! And, those pictures don't really do it justice. My camera and/or skills don't really capture it.

May 12, 2011 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I saw this in one of those 'best terraces in paris' books, and was wondering if it was any good. I suppose you could always have dinner at the salad place, and then head up up for a nice night view. sounds like a good place for terrace drinking this summer.

May 12, 2011 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Forest said...


I do think it's one of the best terrace in paris (going by terrace alone) And, that's exactly what I would - hit it before or after dinner nearby.

May 12, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous sam said...

how does le 7th compare to some of these?


May 14, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

A martini on the rooftop in Paris sounds ideal in summer. I like the idea of something cold in hand as the sun goes down - I wouldn't have considered it in Paris before!

My list of places to go to in Paris is getting way too long, thanks to you :)

May 16, 2011 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger I Heart Paris said...

I'm looking forward to trying this place out - the view, the reasonable prices and its location are all big draws!

May 18, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Aja said...

i will probably have no possibility to visit all places, but I will keep in mind some of them and will take your suggestions :)

May 19, 2011 at 3:26 AM  
Blogger Yetunde said...

I always wondered about this hotel. Been in the lobby but never tried the restaurant or bar. Thanks for the share. I'll be sharing this post for sure!

June 11, 2011 at 1:53 AM  

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