Pierre Jancou’s Vivant teams fresh and stylish plates with stunning wines in a timeless ambiance.
Bearded and tattooed restaurateur Pierre Jancou opened Vivant a few years back, before his trendy Palais-Royal address, Heimat. For adventurous diners, this gourmet bistro and wine bar offers a superior selection of vintages as well as a menu of imaginative hors d’oeuvres by Swedish chef Svante Forstorp.
With its turn-of-the-century décor – a large marble counter, colourful tile murals and wine cabinet full of rare and precious bottles – Vivant has an unhurried, timeless ambiance. There’s no wine list to consult and very limited seating (four tables), so in all likelihood you’ll be leaning over the counter, listening to the barman explain the day’s specials. We started off with the Gamay La Boudinerie by Noëlla Morantin (€5 per glass), a light red, and followed it with the coarser Tout Nature (€7.50 per glass). If you prefer white, the Gg – a coastal wine from the prestigious Catalonian region – is a nice option at €5 a glass.
Behind the counter, Forstorp is busy preparing gorgeous dishes from the day’s menu: white asparagus custard (€13), smoked skipjack tuna served with ricotta and a bitter chicory salad (€16), oysters (€4.50 a piece) and aged Comté cheese (€10 per plate). The dishes are original, fresh and delicious, although the portions are small and fussy and the prices a bit steep. A hangout for confident gourmets, perhaps, rather than anyone looking for a cosy apéro.
43 rue des Petites Ecuries
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 12noon-2pm and 7.30pm-midnight|