How to do it:
It is a fun concept, but it’s different. Although it was built to be super causal and easy, I often see people come inside confused at what to do. Once you get it though, it becomes a favourite haunt.
Find a spot at the bar counter, look up at the ceiling for the menu choices and be prepared to order quick when they ask.
You don’t know what to choose from all the choices? Sorry, they can’t translate the entire menu for you which is why there are photos… so know ahead of time to be open-minded and just try things. Plates are tapas portions so if you don’t like it you can move on. When you love something, order another.
Know ahead of time if you like pork, vegetables, etc. to tell them to suggest something and take it from there.
If you are overwhelmed, just order one thing quick, they’ll help you choose from the wines by the glass by asking your preferences (white, red, fruity, etc.) and then use your spot and take your time to look through all the choices to order something else.
There are no chairs, it is a long skinny room where folks are happily standing elbow-to-elbow at the bar grazing for hours on tapas and bottles of wine on the counter.
With only one person tending bar and one chef – everything takes time as it is made-to-order.
Depending how many people are ahead of you, if you hesitate too long it’ll be a while before they get back to you. They actually take everyone’s orders in the order that they walk in, in essence, its a “line” and you’ve lost your turn.
The bar staff is friendly and a bit cheeky, especially Manager Sylvain, so be prepared for a huge bonjour and good time humor from him.
L’Avant Comptoir Wine Bar
- 9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, Paris, France
- +33 01 44 27 07 97
12h - 23h, non-stop 7 days a week.
- St. Germain des Pres (6 arr.)