Bar Aimer (Paris)

© Miss Jeanne

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Aimer, or “to love,” is to climb so high you can touch the outspread wings of a bird, as described with so much emotion by the poet Gérard Presgurvic. But there’s no need to climb any higher than Ménilmontant, where you’ll find the latest addition to the Les As family (Popine, Bijou, Coquin…), which took over the eponymous bistro that went under during France’s national lockdowns. Here’s a bar with a discreet but cheeky attitude: a teeny-tiny, cozy space with a disco ball, a notched banquette and exposed bricks, plus a tiny terrace on the big boulevard. What about the cocktails? Making a ruckus behind the bar is Baptiste Duchamp (ex-Mio Posto and Lipstick), who delivers eight original recipes shaken to the beat of the loud background music, like a balanced Peanut Butter Faster Stronger that combines peanut butter rum, cacao bitters and sherry fino (€12) or the intense Martine au Mexique that mixes up mezcal, jalapeño, grapefruit juice and Chartreuse (€12). Cocktails that are even better when paired with some of their hearty dishes: the house hummus (€5), a crispy scotch egg (€6) or roasted cauliflower (€9), for an apéro that flirts with true happiness. // Paul Hacket 

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