The Lounge Life

When a friend recently called for a restaurant recommendation that was new and cool and trendy and busy and good (in other words: buzzy), I immediately thought of the latest venture from the duo behind the exceedingly popular Volnay: les Jalles.  In the last month, the blogosphere has been nicely noisy about this new eatery.  However, what piqued my curiosity was not the reportedly fantastic food.  It was the buzz I had been hearing about their bar, l’Etage for months prior from some notable cocktail names.

A few days after they opened, Kate and I made our way through the tasteful art deco dining room of les Jalles, up the back stairs to l’Etage to see what hid behind the hype.  We found ourselves in a sophisticated and seductive space, where period appropriate paintings pop against dark walls and sexy staff stands behind the shiny bar in somberly elegant uniform.

Classy style carries through to the menu with its small but strong selection of eight drinks, including a crusta, a julep and a cobbler made with choice ingredients. The man behind the menu is bar manager, Simon, previously of la Conserverie. And, patrons can confidently go off menu considering he not only honed his skills at a great Paris cocktail spot, but has also worked the circuit abroad, including stints in both Australia and London.

My martini was not the first I’ve had from Simon, but was just as consistently good as the previous ones. When he recommended a Martinez as my follow up, I was happy to go that route and mentioned that it ranked highly among my most memorable cocktail experiences, thanks to one several years back London bar, Montgomery Place.  Coincidentally, turns out that’s also the bar he worked in London, so he stirred up a Martinez that was reminiscent of the one I recalled so fondly.  I, also, of course enjoyed a sip Kate’s Bwa-Lele (two types of rum, velvet falernum, lime and tiki bitters) and was particularly impressed with the presentation of her Calvados Crusta, which came in a glass entirely coated with fine sugar.

14 rue des Capucines, 75002


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