Briciola Wine Bar

This cute Italian wine bar in midtown is a great place to grab a drink after work.  The place is tiny and very popular, so the key is to get there early.

The bartender will not let you sit at the bar unless you are ordering food. I am always hungry, so no problem there.  The food here is also surprisingly good!  We enjoyed everything we ordered. 

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FRESH BURRATA WITH PROSCIUTTO

FRESH BURRATA WITH PROSCIUTTO

PAPPARDELLE BOLOGNESE 

PAPPARDELLE BOLOGNESE 

Generous portion of octopus, which I appreciate.  I am sick of restaurants that charges $16 for 2 small octopus tentacles.  Octopus is not THAT much of a delicacy.  

SPECIAL OF THE DAY: OCTOPUS WITH PESTO SAUCE.

SPECIAL OF THE DAY: OCTOPUS WITH PESTO SAUCE.

Verjus Bar à Vin

Verjus Bar à Vin and its more formal sister, Verjas, have been praised by many food critics as one of the "must-eats" in Paris.  Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to pop in for lunch.  The space is narrow and tiny, but had a cozy wine cave feel, which is very appropriate for a wine bar.  I can see how this place can get packed quickly in the evenings.  

The lunch menu was short, with 3 sandwiches and 2 salads.  I knew exactly what I wanted before the waitress even handed me the menu.  I came for the Fried Chicken Sandwich that I kept reading about.  

The smallish fried chicken sandwich really didn't live up to its reputation.  The crispy skin fell apart from the meat after my first bite. The chicken was also overly salty.  There was just nothing special about the sandwich at all.  If anything, it was sub-par. 

Verdict: BBB. I know it's not exactly fair to judge the restaurant by 1 menu item, but this is supposedly one of the "star" dishes of the restaurant!  I would come back here for a glass of wine in evening, based on the atmosphere alone.  However, I probably won't be making dinner reservation for the upstairs Verjus restaurant any time soon.  I am not sure why this place gets such great reviews.  Maybe there just aren't that many places that serve decent American cuisine in Paris?!  As an American, I am not impressed at all.  

Verjus Bar à Vins
47, rue Montpensier 75001 Paris
http://verjusparis.com