August 28, 2014 by Emma Bentley
UPDATE 2015: Nebbiolo has changed hands. No indication yet as to its future direction.
Head to Ici-Meme, Siffleur des Ballons or The Calbar instead.
Nobody could be more proud of his roots than Federico, owner of the Piedmontese cave à manger on the rue de Charenton, Nebbiolo.
The moment you step through the door, you’re welcomed by a “ciao, buona sera” and a smile which sparkles with warm Italian sunshine. There are two small tables outside, each with two chairs, one large table and two barrels inside, but clearly you should be sitting at the bar.
As the name would suggest, wine takes centre-stage within these four walls. You would be right to expect a heavily Piedmont-biased offering. Lively, fruity red wines. Smacking whites. Bubbles. Of course.
The majority come from low-intervention producers. You’ll be able to get your fix of long-maceration wines too. I’m deliberately holding back from saying “natural wine” because of the image that instantly conveys of a hipster who has just read the 101 Guide to Opening a Restaurant in Paris. Here, it’s not pretentious. It just is. And it’s refreshing in its authenticity.
Wines cost between 6 – 8 euros for a glass. If you would rather have a bottle, corkage is 6 euros on top of the shelf price.
Should you get blighted by an attack of the munchies, you’re in the right place for that too. This is not really a restaurant, but you can pick from top quality plates of Italian charcuterie and cheeses. Or ricotta and anchovies doused in delicious olive oil. Burrata with a cold beetroot sauce. Simple but so tasty. The highly seasonal menu changes often.
On the wall opposite the bar are pictures of Federico’s home town and the contours of the local vineyards. Given half an opportunity, he will point out where his family house is. His enthusiasm is infectious.
Overall, I have spent some excellent evenings here chez Federico. There’s a gentleness and generosity to these north Italians. A eagerness to share their cuisine. Spending an evening here is just as if you have been transported to Italy. Warning: you’ll lose track of time.
Essential InformationAddress: 67 rue de Charenton, 75012 Telephone: 09 53 52 32 90 Website: Facebook Opening Hours: Open evenings from Monday to Friday. Lunch on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Reservations: best to call earlier in the day if you want to be sure of a space. Suggested footwear: bring out the brogues!