A Sensual Italian

gocce 1A few years ago, Julien Cohen added another fashionably trendy notch to his Italian belt with Il Professore & Gocce, in the 9th arrondissement. But unlike his earlier bobo pizza joints, (Pizza Chic and Grazie) this venture seems bigger and more ambitious.

The first “room” in this restaurant & lounge is Il Professore, a large, lively and sometimes loud trattoria. I ate here just after its opening in 2013. The food was tasty and the ambience was fun, but the service in the bar was just so-so. As a result, I didn’t get back in for further taste-testing until now.

Beyond the restaurant is Gocce, the bar. And it’s a very, very sexy bar. Low lighting, book-lined walls, candles, sofas and cozy nooks make it hard not to slip into a seductive mindset while sinking into their soft armchairs.

gocce2The cocktail menu was originally conceived by Oscar (the quietly intense barman who opened the bar at Grazie) and has changed little (if at all?) since then. The first of three sections offers up twists on classics like Infused Negroni (a regular negroni with some walnut and artichoke infusions) or the Ramos RIP, which involves genever, yogurt liqueur and rose syrup.

Oscar’s touch is evident in the “Perfume” section of the menu, featuring drinks such as the Terra Mare Gin Tonic made with Gin Mare, Fever Tree and a house-made sea-water spray.

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