Set hard by the Marché d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement, Siffleur des Ballons is an irresistibly charming wine bar with a refined, contemporary feel.
Grab a table early, as the small venue is likely to be packed by 7.30pm – though you might still get a stool at the light wooden bar, facing a tempting window of cheeses and a fine view over the plating area where the barmen put together perfect charcuterie boards and other dishes.
On our visit, the delightfully ribald proprietor suggested a glass of Zito – a light, delicate, fruity red – at €6 a glass; perfectly pitched for unwinding after a long day, and kicking off an evening in the bar’s friendly, none too serious atmosphere.
The food delivers too, with the mixed cheese and charcuterie board (€16) piled with well-chosen, top quality Saint Nectaire, Tome de Brébis sheep’s cheese, and fine slices of coppa and San Daniel ham. To go with all this, the barman recommended a bottle of Ivresse des Sens, a heady, tannic and voluptuous red that rounded everything out nicely for just €20 (or €13 to take home, if you want to take the party onwards). We’re smitten, and we reckon you will be too.