Les Œillets

Restaurant Les Œillets (Paris)

© Natacha Gonzalez

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Did Paris’s 11th arrondissement really need another natural wine bar? The answer to that query can be found on the empty plate wiped sparkling clean by yours truly at this dapper dive, complete with broken tile floors, pine green banquette seating and an ornate mirror. Behind the zinc-topped bar, Maxime Dardeau (ex-Chambre Noire and Cave de Belleville) and Solal Martin-Grondard (ex-Yard) had the brilliant idea to pair their bottles with cuisine prepared by a series of guest chefs. The night we went, it was Paul Alexis (ex-Lolo Bistro) at the helm: homemade pork rillettes shaken up by some spicy Basque guindilla peppers; explosively flavorful chanterelle and black trumpet mushrooms dressed in a memorable jus-de-viande-infused sabayon sauce; poached and charred leeks served with unfussy tonnato sauce; and for a comforting dessert, miso-peanut rice pudding. There are a few vegetarian and snack options as well, available at apéro hour: Italian coppa, gorgonzola with Thai chilies, Brillat-Savarin… // Eric Taylor 

FEELING THIRSTY? Very clean options: an Alsatian Riesling from Yann Durrmann (€7 a glass), a Mâcon white produced by Julien Guillot (€42 a bottle), La Sirène Rouge, a Loire Cabernet franc from Victor Rousse (€35), J’aurai ta peau, a Rhone roussanne orange wine produced by Matthieu Barret (€40)…  
PRICE: Plates €7-12. 

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