It’s been a few years since Le Bar du Canal finished gentrifying the end of Rue Dansaert, eying the mythical Café Walvis from its opposite corner. Not much has changed since the recent takeover by Vins Naturels: natural bottles continue to flow, groups of bilingual buddies come to share generous plates, the drooping plants decorating the place trickle down just like wines, and Léa Frémont-Roussel hasn’t budged an inch. So, what are we drinking? Above the Clouds, an Alsatian skin-contact from Domaine Hebinger, blending Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot gris (€52.50 a bottle and €10.50 by the glass); Splash from Barouillet, a 100 % Sémillon pet’ nat’ that’s ideal for an apéro (€36); Avant la Tempête, the sharp dry white from Camille and Mathieu Apffel in the Savoie (€43.50); or Métro Boulot Beaujo, a right juicy Gamay from the Domaine des Canailles (€40). And to go with all that? No nibbling, just proper meals: comforting Sicilian panelle with salsa verde; cuttlefish and fennel marinated in blood orange butter; and PDO Gorgonzola PDO and poached pear sprinkled with buckwheat. // Jessica Fletcher
THE BULLET-PROOF BOTTLE: Blablablabla, the rather funky, nearly-pink red wine from Portuguese winemaker João Pato aka Duckman (€37).
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