On first glance, The Pigs seems to be a standard café, with a varied customer base filling the box-standard terrace tables while smoking ciggies and sipping demi beers. But, step up to the bar and you’ll find something a little different from the traditional corner bar fare.
The menu includes the usual brews and wines plus a list of 8 or so house creations. There was no dry vermouth, so I ordered an MG Tequila sour from the friendly barman, David, which was nicely prepared with a cheeky sprinkling of Piment d’Espelette. As I was sipping my drink, I watched someone write up the new cocktail menu on a chalkboard, which comprised some rather unusual drinks for a typical Paris café at 7.50 to 9 Euros – including one cocktail with cuttlefish ink!
Turns out the person writing up the new menu was not only one of the owners but a barman I had met previously when he made his debut in Paris at the Silencio bar. After a stint at this ultra-trendy venue, Nadir decided to seriously democratize the Paris cocktail scene and branched out with a friend to open the Pigs. He created a menu, in a low-key typically French locale, while still employing some sophisticated cocktail practices. All syrups and sprinkles are made on site, higher quality mixers like Fever Tree are available and cocktails are straw-tasted. Perhaps that last item is not the be all end all, but I got a kick out of seeing that happen in such a popular place. And, I also enjoyed the juxtaposition of these practices alongside the mixed crowd including twenty-something frenchies ordering half-pints of beer on tap.