When the Parisian grey skies and winter rain begin seeping into your skin, look no further than Le Valmy on Canal Saint Martin for a little haven from the storm.
A friendly server greets you as you come in the door, and you’ll find a place at one of the numerous worn wooden tables. The walls are lined with bookshelves and covered with artwork, the bartender is laughing with some locals at the bar, and every table is full of friends chatting over a drink.
You feel instantly among friends, and you could join in with the group at the bar if you wanted to, seriously. It’s that friendly. We sat at the bar once to try the Beaujolais Nouveau and ended up having a long conversation with the bartender about Montana, cowboys and Jack Daniels.
The drink menu is extensive yet inexpensive, with all of your basic aperitifs, beers, wines and digestives, plus an impressive list of infused rums (cinnamon, apple, coffee) and cocktails, including the best gin and tonic we’ve found in Paris. While all of Le Valmy’s prices are reasonable, the cocktails, while typically quite pricey in Paris, are an especially good deal at only 5 to 6 euros each, and well made at that.
The fare here is simple, high quality, and comes at a fair price. The owner apparently makes a trip to Rungis, the world’s largest and best wholesale food market located just outside of Paris, every day. Like that of a typical brasserie, the menu includes mostly red meats, such as rumsteck, accompanied by thick seasoned fries and salad. You’ll definitely want to order a bottle of Minervois to go with that.
Feel free to soak up the relaxed ambiance and spend the entire evening here like most people do. After dinner, order a coffee or even better, a Baileys, to savor an evening spent among friends.
145 Quai de Valmy
© 2011 Pasa’s Paris