Travelling as much I do, some people wonder why I keep returning to same places over and over again. The world is full of things to explore, they say. Very true. I just know nothing better than returning to Paris and Le Verre Volé where the food is delicious and fascinating natural wines make you smile the moment your eyes hit the shelves.
Located on lively Rue de Lancry in the heart of 10th arrondissement, Le Verre Volé never lets you down. This unpretentious little bistro serves lovingly prepared, simple yet inventive food; many nice classics with a twist. Ribs, boudon noir, lentils de Puy… you name it! And as much as I love Italy, I must admit one of the tomato bruschettas of my life has been enjoyed here in Paris 10ème.
The dishes are generous and colourful, the ambience is dense – not least because of the kitchen in the middle of the tiny space. All wines by glass are written on the blackboard, but my advice is to let the boys take care of the pairings. They really know their stuff.
Even though Verre Volé’s glass selection is nice and offers great variation in accompanying the dishes, many times I have felt frustrated that there is no-one to share a bottle with. But so far I haven’t bonded that much to adjoining tables. Maybe next time?
Like many popular places in Paris, it always get crowded, so make sure to be there in time. Or be wise and book in advance. As a horribly sloppy lunchtime booker, I prefer to go standing on the street 10 or 15 minutes before they open.
Despite its location in a superhip bobo neighbourhood, Le Verre Volé has kept its feet on the ground, trusting on tasty, honest food and homey atmosphere. And what’s best, everything here is wallet friendly. A great place to buy liquid souvenirs to take home.
Or if you prefer to join hundreds of locals having pique-nique on the banks of Canal Saint-Martin, pop by at Verre Volé first. Packed with beautiful natural wines across France to take away, from these shelves you can also find divine bottlings in magnum, such as Vouette & Sorbée’s La Blanc d’Argile.
Having fallen for Verre Volé a couple of years ago, I finally got to try their tiny seafood restaurant, Le Verre Volé sur Mer last summer. It was a very special August day: my last night in Paris after spending half of the summer in the city, feeling devastated about going home.
A period that had started four weeks earlier with a Sunday lunch at Verre Volé would end to a late dinner at Verre Volé sur Mer. Kind of a beautiful closure, I think, and wipe away little teardrops from my eye.
The evening is so hot you can easily dine out on the street wearing just a dress. As a seafood lover, I couldn’t be happier about the menu: everything from oysters to squid, razor clams and shrimps, sashimi to ceviche. An entire month full of of gastronomic delights (and training for my first marathon) behind, I decide to finish my Parisian summer adventures with just a glass.
That decision is washed away the moment we notice Emmanuel Lassaigne’s La Colline Inspirée on the list. There is no way back. My last evening in Paris would be a long one.
And I can’t wait to get back. To both these places.
Le Verre Volé: 67 Rue de Lancry (Paris 10ème). Daily 12:30–14 and 19:30–22:30. Tel: +33 (0)1 480 317 34. Metro: Jacques Bonsergent (line 5) / Gare de l’Est (lines 4, 5 & 7).
Verre Volé sur Mer: 53 Rue de Lancry. Daily 12–14, Sat-Sun 19:30–22:30. Tel: +33 (0)1 480 321 38.