What's happening in bars across the Channel? Quite a lot these days, thanks to a few venues you can rely on to continually push forward the Parisian drinking scene – Experimental Cocktail Club, Candelaria, Sherry Butt, and since 2012, the art-inspired Little Red Door.
So when we found ourselves in Paris recently, checking out the new menu (which was just nominated for World's Best Cocktail Menu in the Spirited Awards) was a must. Dubbed the Evocative Menu, it came from head bartender Remy Savage's interest in the impact of semantics on flavours.
'A good menu is a menu that asks a question,' he told Imbibe. 'Ours was: is there a universal palate?'
So the team set to create a menu that would have no words, asking artists to taste the drinks and create artworks based on what they felt and how they felt drinking it; it's those artworks that compose the menu and direct guests as they order.
'Flavours aren't as defined as we think they are; but words can be limiting. We want to use art to transmit flavours instead of words.'
Savage – a philosophy graduate, you won't be surprised to know – also highlighted that the menu helps make Little Red Door a less intimidating bar. You won't be scared by heaps of ingredients. 'The aim is to not make cocktail bars a place where you have to be intelligent,' he adds; although he admits the artworks are a bit of an 'intellectual garnish', but an accessible one, we'd say.
And if that wasn't enough, the guys behind Little Red Door and its sister bar, Lulu White, are opening a third venue this July. Bonhomie, in the 10th arrondissement, will be an all day-venue ticking all the right boxes: speciality coffee, food in the daytime and cocktails at night, with a Mediterranean atmosphere and plenty of live music. Drinks will be built around 'flavours that people are used to, but in a new way', with a few categories explored in depth, such as salt, roots, spices and fruits.