14, rue Boutebrie, in the 5th Arrondissement.
01 43 25 24 24. Tues–Fri, lunch and dinner.
Sat, dinner only.
When it came time to find an appropriate place to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau this year, I ran through my regular list of Paris wine bars. But no one was offering anything special for the occasion, so my friend and I ventured off list to a wine bar I had been meaning to try. This place was also pouring the young red wine fresh on the third Thursday of November, as tradition dictates. So off we went to Le Porte-Pot in the 5th Arrondissement to try the latest wine with some of their home-cooked fare.
Le Porte-Pot is right off the boulevard St.-Germain, below the Musée de Cluny, a well-traveled tourist area. But after visiting, I’d call the spot a diamond in the rough. The wine bar was surprisingly large, with two floors of tables, each more conducive than the previous one for hunkering down with a good glass of wine.
Walking in upstairs, we were greeted with exposed brick and dark wood beams that stretched out across the room. There are several shelves of wine bottles for the picking and drinking, and opposite is a decent-size bar if you just want to stop in for a drink. Downstairs has more tables if you prefer a cellar-like setting.
Since we came for Beaujolais Nouveau, we ordered a bottle of the young Gamay wine and were pleasantly surprised by the balance of the fruit-forward flavor. It was a “bio” bottle, meaning we weren’t drinking chemicals, but we were also getting some sediment since there was no filtering. It still worked, as long as you looked before you drank that final sip.
They had a special that night of a beef bourguignon cooked in the wine of the evening. The meat was a little overdone, but it was still hearty fare that paired well with the wine. The six-hour braised lamb proved a much better bet. The enormous shank was served on the bone, and it fell off with barely a light pull from the fork. The meat arrived on a bed of tagliatelle in a slightly sweet jus with mushrooms. Now that is a great winter staple.
We jumped around the menu and then had a wonderfully baked St.-Marcellin in a honey sauce. Add that to the pick-me-up winter meal worth returning for.
Surprisingly the nut brownie with caramel sauce that we were so excited to see on the menu proved a little dry. Stick with the cheese. There were also many people enjoying the cantal burger with homemade fries—it pairs well with just about anything.
In a nutshell: Stop in to the friendly wine bar Le Porte-Pot after taking in the Musée de Cluny. You’ll find a nice selection of organic and natural wines served in a warm, rustic room with satisfying home-cooked food on offer.
Price check: Starters, 8–15 euros; mains, 16–25 euros.
If you like the sound of Le Porte-Pot, you might also enjoy Le Verre Volé. Read the review.
Le Verre Volé
67, rue de Lancry, in the 10th.
01 48 03 17 34.
Lunch and dinner daily
Editor’s note: For a gourmet walking tour, check out our DIY downloadable Paris tours.