Slouch on the comfortable velvet sofas at Grand Pigalle hotel's classy bar and admire the copper chandeliers, slate-coloured walls and subdued lighting. Everything is geared towards that hard-to-pinpoint intimate atmosphere – making it a veritable first-date destination.
Music is straight from a Tarantino soundtrack and three quarters of the wine list is Italian, from Piedmont, Tuscany and and Sicily. Luckily, oenophile Guillaume (and his transalpine accent) is on hand to advise – the Cos, a delicious red from just south of Mount Etna, is flavourful and fruity. The Marziano abbona is more full-bodied but just as good; the kind of wine that warrants an exclamation of “Mamma mia” after each sip.
Prices aren’t exactly wallet-friendly though (glasses between €8 and €19) but a superb selection of antipasti might cushion the blow – think 24-month old parmesan, buffalo mozzarella, homemade oregano foccaccia and aubergine bruschetta. Consider it a prolonged Italian holiday. And if you wanted to continue the night, there are plenty of rooms upstairs to call your own.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE