mardi 8 septembre 2009

Buvez Madison: On parle du Curio Parlor dans The Guardian

Parisians Pierre-Charles Cros, Olivier Bon and Romée de Goriainoff weren't your average teenagers. Rather than unsophisticated nights on the tiles, they saved their pocket money for decent wine and splendid restaurants. Their passion for the finer things in life led to lengthy sojourns in New York and London, where the friends discovered the craft of a perfectly mixed cocktail. Fifteen years later, they returned to Paris so accomplished in the art of making the perfect martini they'd make James Bond purr.

Then two years ago this band of brothers opened the Experimental Cocktail Club, a trim, elegant space which spearheaded a move away from the large nightclubs of the last 20 years towards smaller, more intimate venues with their own identities: places where lovers canoodle in corners, and you can dance on small, makeshift dancefloors - all spun along by seductive concoctions of spirits.

Along with the Cocktail Club collective's newest venture, the darkly decadent Curio Parlor, a sprinkling of other cosy, classy places has arisen out of the dust of defunct or dying superclubs. Reasonable prices, cool music, quirky concerts and exhibitions, passionate bar staff and owners who actually work in their own venues mean they are a world away from the grim 1st arrondissement dungeons with their €25 cocktails and spooky 60-year-old men squiring skinny models.

The Experimental Cocktail Club and the Curio Parlor

Avant-garde New York designer, Cuoco Black designed these bars, on opposing sides of the Seine, to contrast with and complement each other: you'll find the Curio Parlor in a street leading from the Seine into the newly chic 5th arrondissement, whereas the Experimental Cocktail Club inhabits the slightly seamier, eastern part of the 2nd. The golden twilight stylishness of the Cocktail Club is the natural precursor to the Wildean shadows and taxidermied curiosities of the Curio Parlor. The former's bestselling Experience 1 cocktail is a marvel with vodka, lemongrass, basil and elderflower cordial. At the Curio Parlor, take a dram of Nikka whisky, a burst of fire in the mouth that lingers long after the first taste.
• Experimental Cocktail Club, 37, rue Saint-Sauveur (00 33 1 45 08 88 09,, metro Sentier or Réaumur Sébastopol).
Curio Parlor, 16 Rue des Bernardins, (+1 44 07 12 47,, metro Maubert-Mutualité).

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