Le Mary Celeste

Le Mary Celeste (Paris)

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Le Fooding Guide’s Best bar à délices of 2014

Once the afternoon starts to fade, seasoned cocktail lovers rush in to savor the potions whipped up by the Quixotic team (who also runs Candelaria), seated on wooden barstools around a solid-wood hexagonal bar. You won’t want to miss the dishes crafted by Amandine Sepulcre Huang (ex-Bleu Bao) either: mouthwatering kimchi wontons; intensely flavorful mussels with chili and shiso; or, for something a little less briny, stuffed Pontoise cabbage (adobo pork loin and serrano peppers), as plump as a buoy; and a comforting Castelfranco radicchio, pear, tamarind and ash-coated goat cheese salad. For dessert, there’s a rather naughty cream puff, known as a chou pinou, with plenty of chocolate and a hazelnut-caper praline. Otherwise, the chef holds a fried chicken party every Friday night, and every day at lunch, Alix Thollet takes the wheel, serving a mouthwatering lunch menu – for example, deviled eggs, grilled hake fillet and mashed potatoes, plus a citrus and almond Fontainebleau for dessert. // Theodora Clermont 

FEELING THIRSTY? There are a dozen shaken creations, including the 8:05pm that cleverly combines Bourbon, chocolate, absinthe and cardamom, the Magenta composed of rum, Saint-Raphaël, amaretto and verjus, or even the El Senador made with a mezcal and grenadine base. And almost as many living wines served by the glass, including a French Kiss Kanon Gamay from the Domaine Saint-Cry (€8) and Saveur de Pierre, an Alsatian Pinot gris from Les Vins Pirouettes (€7). 
PRICE: Set menus and combo menus €22-25 (lunch), plates €7-17 (dinner). 

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