This café near the Place des Vosges was originally a nice little Italian bistro with Italian wines and antipasti, before it became an impersonal bar that quickly fell out of favor. The establishment was recently taken over by Alexandre Degli Esposti (grandson of the founder of Bottega Pastavino), who was able to restore the location to its former glory by transforming it into a trendy spot that attracts a mix of neighborhood forty-somethings and even a few Italian expats who are delighted to get a true taste of home. The room was given a refreshing makeover with stone walls, comfortable bench seating and hammered metal table tops. In the kitchen, Neapolitan chef Alessio de Pietro, formerly with the Mori Venice Bar, prepares beautiful, finely crafted cuisine with ingredients sourced from the best Italian producers. His menu features some fifteen cicchetti – Venetian-style tapas – to share after work (starting at 5pm) or to eat on your own as a starter, like the excellent smoked burrata with cep mushrooms and rosemary (€10), or the delicate fried fish and tempura shellfish (€14). We then enjoyed some delicious ricotta-spinach ravioli (€19) topped with a ragù bianco (finely minced veal and seasoned pancetta). For dessert, do not pass up the traditional tiramisu (€10), which truly exemplifies the genre. At the time of writing, several dishes featuring white Alba truffles were also available on the menu (from €25 to €50). Tempting selection of Italian wines, some served by the glass.
Noon to 2:30pm and 5pm to 11pm Closed Sunday evening Average price: €40