l'Entree des Artistes
8 rue de Crussol
The Paris cocktail scene has
done a lot of growing up over the past 4 years. We've gone from a handful of successful forerunners to a nicely growing network of drinking options. Paris bar talent is expanding internationally with the ECC setting up shop in both the UK and the US. And we're seeing international cocktail trends showing up in bars here locally - the latest of which is aged cocktails. The first mixology maostro to experiment with bottling a premixed cocktail and leaving it to age was Tony Conigliaro at 69 Colebrook Rowe in London. Jeffrey Morgenthaler followed up with more barrel aged cocktail trials in Portland, Oregon. And now, Paris locals can weigh in on whether or not a few weeks of storage can improve the taste of their tipples at the newly opened l'Entree des Artistes.
The team behind this laid-back locale, hit the ground running with pre-opening anticipation on the part of Paris cocktillians. Fabien, having honed his skills at Prescription Cocktail Club, teams his bar skills with Edouard, who handles the wine side. The result: a relaxed, low key, pint-sized cocktail bar with a significant food and wine list as well.
I stopped in last week with a few friends to form my own opinions on the 'vintage' drinks. My friends were surprized when i led them to the place telling me it used to be a 'divey' bar where'd they'd hang out for cheep beers. It's been renovated, but not so much that it's lost the laid-back local frenchie feel. The casual space is enhanced with well chosen touches like the antique cash register and swank bar accoutrements. Also, on my visit, I ran into Thierry Daniel of Liquid Liquid/Cocktail Spirits doing his own sampling, which is a good sign that the drinks are worth trying.
I tried a negroni and a vieux carre, both of which had been aged in barrels for 6 weeks. The aging brings a mellow and interesting melange of flavors that i think make them worth the 14 - 15 Euros price tag. However, patrons looking for something a little less invasive on the pocketbook, can play with their impressive menu of cocktails at 10 - 11 Euros each. And the standard cocktail menu offerings are no less interesting with options like the Mon Vieux Tabac (Peychaud's bitters, Bob's Bitters licorice, tabacco liqueur, Carpano Anica Formula, Cognan Grosperrin and Rittenhouse Rye 100). Clearly this is no mojito mecca. Given the care that's going into these drinks, l'Entree des Artistes currently rates as one of Paris' best values for money in cocktail options.
I see a bright future for these boys amongst the serious cocktail crowd as well as residents looking for a refreshing change of pace from the so many just so-so bars in the Oberkampf area. And, while I like to see local bars bringing in already established cocktail practices, I'm also looking forward to spending more time there to explore what they can bring to the cocktail trends themselves.
Labels: -arrondissement 11, *forest favs, *superior cocktails, *terrace, *unique cocktail experiences, €€ 9 – 13, l'Entree des Artistes