Très Chic, Très Zen Bars: Des Prés Tapas in Montrouge

Listen. Tapas are Spanish, but the Spanish don’t just eat Tapas. Got it?

One of my friends from Madrid reminded me of this cliché like…hmm..they only drink sangria, and dance Flamenca, and stay up gabbing until 4am, wait, no, that is a real thing. If anything, the Spanish rival the French in terms of tradition, but the French will forever be difficult to top in cuisine.

So, when the French make French tapas, believe that they are insane.

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Hol’ up. This site is about drinks though, correct? True, but while in Europe we have to get a few things straight. Each country in Europe has their own drinking ideology, and they are often very different from ours.

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That’s me.

The French believe in complements, not to be confused with compliments. Rather than balance, drinks build off of a meal and elevate the experience, creating uplifting, convivial atmosphere. A stark contrast from a moody dive bar banging Gang of Four, ironic leather vests, and empty rocks glasses. If the French sound uppity, they’re not, they are just raised this way. It’s instinctual. And it’s a little unfair to label instinct as uppityness (yes, it’s a word).

Anyways, back to the food, back to Des Pres Tapas. I’m almost done and I’ve hardly written about the restaurant!

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Their raison d’etre is their tapas, a spectrum of flavors, neatly divided on a menu as meat, fish, or vegetable. Gambas sauteed in Pastis, hand-made falafel, mini-croque monsieurs, and roasted veggies with thick wedges of Pecorino delight the table. Pair four or five plates with a cheap glass of Rosé, and you won’t be disappointed. Pair it with a bottle, and you’ll be feeling all types of jolly as you hobble out of the somewhat cramped, casual yet elegant spot.

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Opened just earlier this month, Des Pres is the laid back edition of their next-door neighbor, and the Montrouge culinary Juggernaut, Aubergine et Cie. I’d imagine that the owners have plans for the future.

They have draft beers from Brasserie Toussaint, a craft brewery from Louveciennes, (dare you to pronounce that) France. And a large list of wines as cheap as 3 Euro a glass.

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Me also

If you want a drink without all the fuss of eating involved, below I have a list of other bars in the area for a cocktail. Also, I’ll attach Des Pres info, if you want to do your own snooping.

Bise,

Alexander

Insta: @african.bowtie

Mapstr: @african.bowtie

Address: 38 Avenue Henri Ginoux, 92120 Montrouge

Website: des-pres.fr

Read also:

  • 5 Decent Enough Bars Walking Distance from Porte D’Orleans
  • 5 Bars That Make the Terminus Marie De Montrouge Less Boring
    • coming soon

The Blue Notes: Alésia

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Alésia–a Metro stop with a name like a fairytale or a Disney movie, and while that comparison may hype it up WAY too much, it is a cute pocket with enchanting backstreets and a surprising amount of life during the day and nighttime. There are brasseries to brunch, eat oysters, and smoke–all the essentials of quotidian Parisienne lifestyle.

The mini-streets and mysterious doors of Alesia.

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Eglise Saint-Pierre de Montrouge, like so many other Catholic churches in Paris, rises out of the middle with authority, and an eerily inescapable shadow. This means: Jesus is watching you. Jesus sees you entering that KFC over there.

Just because you went to the gym, does not mean that you deserve to eat a crispy chicken sandwich! – Judgemental French Jesus

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Alesia may not be on the mustache-trimmer of cool, but it is a nice hub that, if you are spending a summer or a semester in Paris, you should visit at least once. Pourquoi pas?

It’s perfect for a weekday drink, in a typically Parisienne, uncrowded, untouristy hub.  As you walk North, retailers pop up–Zara, Muji, Lush–and this saves a trek across the city.

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While the vibe may not be snoot-level 100 like the 15th or 16th arr., it is an uncompromising mix of casual and typical Paris.

Below, I’ll attach some bars if you’re feeling up for a normal night, accentuated by a drink in the sun.

 

Bise,

Alexander

 

Follow me:

Insta: @african.bowtie

 

The Blue Notes: Porte D’Orleans

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The Southern gate of a wall destroyed in World War 1, Porte D’Orleans looks like it hasn’t gotten it’s act together since. For about a month and a half now, I’ve been living in Paris, and I’ve walked through this hub, maybe 100 f***ing times. It’s not a pretty place. I said it Paris, Porte D’Orleans is NOT a pretty place.

This Porte, or door of Paris is a hectic spot during the day with heavy traffic, and sullen faces.

A bus terminal rests to the Southwest and Southeast; a tram line rolls through the center; and on the North end, Avenue General Leclerc leads you towards the Catacombs of Paris. The area also hosts several homeless men, which is, unfortunately, a very apparent problem in the city.

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It’s still Paris. A woman with a flowing black overcoat and obtrusive sunglasses picks up a well-groomed greyhound before they cross the street; at another instance, two archetypal insta-girls pass with simple white tank tops, combat boots, and plaid pants; a mec with windswept hair and a blue blazer cuts me off; however, most pedestrians are city workers, heading home after long hours.

Skip Port D’Orleans (there’s really nothing to see!) unless it’s mandatory that you walk through it for your hotel, as a transfer point to the tram, or to buy a pack of cigarettes.

A small park beyond the Southwest bus terminals makes a decent place to sit and eat a sandwich or pound a croissant. But, I’d even refrain from buying this snack in Porte D’Orleans.

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At night, it’s the same thing. The place isn’t dodgy, but it surely isn’t an area you’d want to spend a night out, or even stop to get a drink.

If you’re for some reason marooned here, fret not, I’ve compiled a list of nearby bars, which are surprisingly…nice.

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  • 5 Semi-Decent Bars Walking Distance from Porte D’Orleans
  • 1st Entry, Southern Paris
    • coming soon

 

Bise,

Alexander

Ps. Living in large cities over the past 2 years, I’ve seen the bad shape some people are because of economic circumstances. In New York especially, it weighed heavily on my heart.  On my daily A-train commute, two or three homeless people would walk through, some asking for money, some in such poor shape that they couldn’t form the words, due to terrets or other mental disorders, and the masses would act as if these people didn’t exist.  Books and cellphones held over their face, only a few would give them pocket change or something from their TJ’s bag, but this passive approach, in the end, doesn’t solve anything. Below, I’ll link the Bowery mission, a place that I personally have walked by dozens of times when I lived in New York, and I know the difference that they make to the city. For every five likes this post gets, I’ll donate $25 to the mission.

Donate to the Bowery Mission:

https://www.bowery.org/donate/

 

The Blue Notes

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The Blue Notes are comprehensive scribblings about today’s Paris and tonight’s Parisienne nightlife.

And they’re written from my perspective:  a writer who doesn’t like Well drinks but likes to drink well (well, most of the time). A Seattle-raised Brooklynite, who somehow ended up in France. And apparently, a loiterer who likes to sit in front of rundown warehouses.

Continue reading “The Blue Notes”