Elbows on the table, eating off each other's plates, pichets of wine everywhere, noise and chatter – for a trendy wine bar in a former sweet shop, an evening chez Lucien is refreshingly down to earth, like dropping in on a mate who just happens to have a kitchen full of goodies and a stonking wine cellar. The small space even feels homely, all knockabout wood, gewgaws and casual lines of bottles surrounding the busy, buzzy tables. Set at the top of the rather chic Rue des Dames, just off the rather less chic Place de Clichy, this is a sparky neighbourhood joint that's well worth an evening of your time.
A tiny, steaming, clattering kitchen at the back feeds the menu, which is written up daily on blackboards (and posted to their Facebook page if you want to to check that day's offering in advance). Rather than full meals, there's a selection of charcuterie, cheeses and inventive small plates that are perfect for sharing and discussing as you make your way through the natural wine list. On our visit, we bravely speared whelks from their shells and dipped them in mayonnaise spiked with lime and wasabi; we sandwiched pale pink shavings of Jésus de Morteau ham into rounds of bread; we nodded our heads over warm black pudding topped with fresh mint leaves and sardines and swooned for a hefty platter of oily, meaty, spicy grilled sausage. We then tailed off with a seriously rich chocolate mousse and a plate of baked figs with fromage blanc.
All this takes place in a happy fug of talk, and teasing from the owners, who are also front of house and always full of advice on the food and wine. Come to Lucien La Chance to kick back and explore great ingredients and liquor without needing to behave like you're in a full-blown restaurant.
|Venue name:||Lucien La Chance||Contact:|
8 rue des Dames
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 6pm-1am|
|Transport:||Metro: Place de Clichy|