Not content with their already sizeable portion of the Rue de Seine restaurant real estate – Cosi, Fish, Semilla and their wine shop La Dernière Goutte around the corner – American Juan Sanchez and New Zealander Drew Harré have now added a quick-stop wine bar, Freddy’s, to their lineup. The wine bar is named for Drew’s wine-loving grandfather, who called everyone whose name he could not remember, Freddy. Grandpa’s photo, in his last years at a bar with a glass of wine, graces the menu.
The small plates menu and excellent wine list makes this an ideal place to pop in alone, in search of a glass of wine and a quick snack, lunch, or dinner or with a quartet of friends who plan to let loose with good conversation and pleasant sips.
I’ve lunched here several times since they opened late in the summer of 2015, and there is no question that, once again, Juan and Drew know what they are doing. But never taking themselves too seriously, the staff in the wine bar wear t-shirts that read “Work in Progress” and in their typical style, these boys are always fine-tuning day by day, along with talented, modern, inventive Semilla chef Eric Trochon. Start, with platters of Corsican ham and chorizo, sliced paper thin, with sips of whatever wine appeals. I like to go for the 100% Marsanne Cairrane, from the Domaine l‘Oratoire St Martin Reserve des Seigneur, or the always table-pleasing Burgundy Chardonnay Viré Clessé from Comte Lafon.
When it’s on the menu, try the meaty, hearty, coeur de canard, duck hearts that appear so seldom on menus. One of my favorite versions was sampled at the restaurant Bones, then run by chef James Henry. Henry and his duck hearts have since moved on, so I am happy to find a pleasing replacement here where these morsels are moist, tender, a revelation. Freddy’s falafel – crispy chickpea balls – are light, spicy and well-seasoned, and could serve as a meal all on their own. These are small plates, with prices ranging from 6 to 9€, so you can order and re-order as hunger dictates. There are no tables, just stools, in a warm setting of exposed stone walls and wooden floors. Remember, no phone, no reservations, but open noon to midnight daily!
FREDDY’S | 54 rue de Seine | Paris 6 | No telephone, no reservations | Métro: Saint-Germain des Prés or Mabillon | Open daily noon to midnight | Small plates from 6 to 9 €