The Trio Behind Maray, one of Liverpool’s best restaurants, were inspired by Le Marais, a Parisian district renowned for its abundance of falafel shops and amazing cocktails.
Whilst their restaurant on Bold Street takes your tastebuds on a tour to this very district, the trio have returned to devise a guide. They’ve navigated through the labyrinth of the buzzing food and drink scene within the district they drew such inspiration from and have come up with the top 8 places to visit for food and drink.
Le Mary Celeste
Mary Celeste is the kind of place you wish you had on your doorstep, where as much attention is paid to the drinks list as the food menu, and both are exquisite. The action takes place around an octagon shaped island bar which seats about 20 and acts as the heart-beat of the establishment. The flavours are bold and heavily Asian influenced. Sit at the bar with a cocktail, order something from the raw bar, order some small plates, order some oysters. And then order some more. This place is effortless, and cool, and you won’t want to leave.
Vibe: Causal dining/small Plates/cocktails
Address: 1 Rue Commines, 75003
The dining room in Au Passage is stripped back, the decor is rustic, the kitchen tiny, but the beauty of this restaurant lies in its simplicity. The head chef and patron Ed (St John alumni) gets his produce fresh from the market, scrubs it and then writes his daily menu which goes on the chalkboard. The emphasis is on fresh, well-cooked produce and the menu consists of small and sharing plates which, on the day we went, varied from green beans with egg yolk to cote du boeuf. The ambience here is hustle and bustle (expect to wait for a table) and the atmosphere is electric.
Vibe: Small plates/wine
Address: 1bis Passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011
The attention to detail in Buvette is its charm. From the wine map on a chalkboard on the wall to the quaint little menus to the glassware to the small plates of food; everything is considered and fits together effortlessly to create a relaxed and cool environment. The team behind Buvette operate a highly successful branch in New York and they’ve brought that stateside attention to detail to Paris. The focus of the drinks menu is classic cocktails and the food menu is beautifully presented small plates.
Vibe: Cocktails/small Plates
Address: 28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009
Owned by an Argentinian, the meat offerings at La Pulperia are understandably outstanding, but there is so much more to this quintessential neighbourhood restaurant. The wine list consists exclusively of natural wines and one of the highlights of our trip was a bottle of chilled red recommended by the eccentric but hugely knowledgeable sommelier. The dining room is small and diners are packed in, as with most Parisian restaurants. Add an open kitchen and friendly service and you can see why it is packed with locals every night.
Vibe: Dinner/natural wines
Address: 1 Rue Richard Lenoir, 75011
Quality vegetables take centre stage at this busy spot in the heart of Marais. The service is chaotic, seats are hard to come by but when you do eventually do sit down and eat you’ll see why it’s so popular. The house specials of ratatouille, chickpea salad and whole roasted cauliflower are all about the quality of the ingredients. It’s a stone’s throw from the famous L’as Du Falafel which is also a must.
Vibre: Lunch/Vegetarian friendly
Address: 22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004
With an un-rivalled view of the city, Le Perchoir is hugely popular with the after work crowd and tourists alike. It opens at 4pm and by 6pm it is full so you need to get there early. Once you’re in you take a lift up to the 7th floor to be greeted by a panoramic view of Paris below you. It’s cool without being too trendy, expensive without being extortionate.
Vibe: Rooftop cocktails
Address: 14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011
Owned by the same team as Mary Celeste, Candelaria has a very New York feel about it. Accessed through a non-descript door at the back of a taco shop you’ll find one of the city’s best bars. Tequila and mescal are their speciality and this cosy den will remind you of one of our city’s own hidden gems – El Bandito. The taqueria out front isn’t just there for show though – the tacos and tostada offerings are seriously good.
Vibe: Late cocktail bar
Address: 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003
Experimental Cocktail Club
As the name suggests, the cocktail list in Paris’ original speak-easy is anything but conventional. Opened in 2007 the ECC brand now stretches far and wide, but this is the original. The friendly bartenders here are creative and passionate about their craft and with the DJ providing a disco soundtrack, this remains one of Paris’ coolest bars. They will happily make classics on request but it really is worth trusting them and ordering off their inventive menu. Tucked away on a quiet street, it is hard to find, and can be hard to get in at busy times, but once you’re in you won’t be leaving any time soon.
Vibe: Late cocktail bar
Address: 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002
Special thanks to Maray for the words and pictures. Not jealous of their trip at all. If you don’t fancy the trip to Paris yourself, head down to their restaurant on Bold Street for as an authentic experience this side of the English Channel.