Paris' Little Red Door on Evocative menu and new venue

Gaëlle Laforest

16 June 2016

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.

Remy Savage. Photo: Tom McGeehan
Remy Savage. Photo: Tom McGeehan

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.

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