So as you know by now, I’m a freakish researcher and a lover of all things Paris. So before we left, I looked up EVERYTHING. And I found a few tiny bars that I thought we would love, and we wandered the streets until we found their hidden doors and all was fantastic.
I really wanted to try Little Red Door, as it has been touted for its lovely cocktails and dark and cozy vibe. We didn’t see it at first – it’s an unmarked door, but nearby is a tiny red door that serves as art and identification.
I wish I had more photos of this place – but as advertised, it was dark and cozy. We sat at the bar and met Piotr (Pierre in France, Peter in London, and open to whichever we wanted to use), a wonderful bartender who has made it his goal to work in the best bars in London, Paris, and Berlin before opening his own bar. He invited Justin to come back in the fall to run the Cannes to Nice marathon with him. (sigh) We also met the manager, Mark, who was friendly and helpful and excited and great.
We had fantastic cocktails and conversation with the bar staff, plus great snacks – including this tartare totopos, which was basically a tasty beef tartare served with freshly fried tortilla chips. It made us wonder why more places in Austin aren’t serving tartare with totopos. It makes sense, right?
We planned to stop at Candelaria afterward, and Piotr and Mark had great things to say about it, so off we went. It’s just a block away (a very small block), and from the outside it’s just a taqueria. There’s a bouncer outside who will ask you (in French) if you want to eat or drink. We said, “Drink!” And so you walk in, past the diners at the tiny counter, to the door next to the stove, and enter a dark dungeon of cocktails and music and fun.
We had some great cocktails here – including a ginger gimlet which is on my list to recreate – and it was a lot of fun to people watch and dance and disappear into the crowd. They had this great light fixture on the way down to the super cool bathrooms. Why is everything so cool in Paris?!