Paris has a special place in the hearts of my wife, myself, and even my 5-year-old daughter. It’s where my wife and I got engaged back in 2002. It’s where we celebrated my wife’s 40th birthday with family and friends in 2005. And it’s where my daughter has ridden on seven—count ‘em—seven—carousels…a record I’m sure she’ll want to break on her next trip.
One of the reasons why Paris is so special to us is a small, unpretentious wine bar called Juvenile’s, at 47 Rue de Richelieu. The owner is Tim Johnston, a sharp-tongued wise-cracking Scotsman who happens to know a helluva lot about wine and spirits, and is in fact a consulting editor to Saveur magazine. Tim takes no BS from his clients, and that adds to the entertainment value of every visit.
My wife met Tim back in 2001, just a few months before she had met me, when she and her Mom took a trip to France. The friendship with Tim was forged, and it has been going strong ever since. Tim, in typical fashion, tolerates me because he enjoys the company of my lovely wife…and I can’t say that I blame him!
The food at Juvenile’s is rustic…nothing fancy here. But it is all very good and satisfying. We’ve found what we consider the best foie gras in Paris here. The potatoes with raclette and bacon are fantastic. Sausage dishes, duck dishes…all the favorites, all wonderfully prepared in a very, very small kitchen in this wine bar that holds, perhaps, 30 people.
Juvenile’s is one of Paris’ original wine bars, serving wine by the glass way before everyone else thought it was cool to do so. And even the locals will come in on a regular basis to ask Tim what the latest great wines are. The man has earned the respect of those who know.
We make Juvenile’s a mandatory stop with every visit to Paris we make, lingering sometimes for an entire day…eating, chatting, and sampling wine and even fine cognacs that Tim is willing to share with us. Often, we come back for a second and even third visit during the same trip. It’s a great place to unwind and get away from the hectic pace of the day, whether you’re a tourist or a local.
The next time you’re in Paris, stop by Juvenile’s and tell Tim I sent you. He will promptly throw you out!