August 23, 2013 by Emma Bentley
Willie’s Wine Bar is a Parigot institution.
Homely haunt of British expats in the city of lights since 1980, it’s has become a true classic. Classic French cuisine, classic French service… the only thing that’s not classic is the lengthy wine list.
Mark Williamson founded his bar-restaurant over thirty years ago and you maybe inclined to assume that the name was somehow chosen because of his surname… however, he will be quick to correct you, explaining that Willi was actually his Swinging Basset Hound in the late 70s/early 80s.
One Saturday not so long ago, around midday, I happened to be wandering around the 1st arrondissement. True to form – as befits my rather epicurean lifestyle – I was a little tiddly having unwisely decided to replace breakfast with several gin and tonics… (a little discretion on this point if the subject ever comes up in my mother’s presence would be much appreciated!) My partner-in-crime had forgotten that Verjus don’t do their fried chicken sandwiches on weekends so I stepped in and decided to lead him just around the corner to Willi’s.
We had asparagus, foie gras, a deliciously tender Charolais steak and the terrine de chocolat. The food was well cooked, well seasoned, and washed down with some of the best wines France has to offer. Our meal, considering that we’d chosen the 36€ menu, quickly came to 50€pp but as a little piece of advice: the mid-week lunch menu, if you sit at the zinc, is exceptionnally good value and definitely to be recommended.
One for the little black book.
Essential InformationAddress: 13, rue des Petits-Champs, 75001 Telephone: 01 42 61 05 09 Website: Willi’s Wine Bar Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays. Reservations: advisable. Suggested footwear: kitten heels would be perfect.