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Paris Food and Wine : Taverne Henri IV

Paris Food and Wine Bar Taverne Henri IV

I was lucky enough to find this little Paris wine bar, a stones throw from my hotel on my solo trip.  The Taverne Henri IV is nestled at the far end of the tranquil Place Dauphine, steps from the Pont Neuf.

It was a perfect spot for me to grab just a little bite to eat and a glass of wine at odd hours.  I would bring my journal and write about my experiences while noshing on the homemade fare.

Sandwiches, quiche, cheese and charcuterie plates are all on offer, as is almost any kind of wine by the bottle or the glass imaginable.  Bistro fare, all at deliciously low prices.

My first visit, Phillipe the owner and manager served me a fruity Beaujolais and a quiche that looked more like a souffle.  Yeah, it was that big.

A few nights later, I happened to overhear a few Americans.  Somehow, we all introduced ourselves and before long, we were like fast friends that had known each other for years.  We drank and talked (and drank) until the wee hours of the morning.  Phillipe was gracious enough to keep the place open much longer than normal closing time.  He often joined in on our fun, though he did not know much English. He would gently quiet us when we were being too loud.  There were people that lived upstairs.

It was a night I will always remember.

On the morning I left Paris, I was faced with an unexpected 15 minutes before my taxi was to pick me up.  I immediately hopped over to Taverne Henri IV, for a last little nosh standing at the bar and to thank Phillipe for his wonderful food, delicious wine and for making a lone American girl with a journal feel welcome in a strange communal French wine bar.

Upon returning to Paris last year, even thought I was staying the Marais, I knew I had to return.

The food was better than I remembered and the place was very busy.  We stayed until it cleared out a bit.  As luck would have it Phillipe was conversing with a couple from Brazil that spoke French and very good English.

Again, somehow we got brought into the conversation.  We drank and talked about everything from their travels to their lovely Brazil (and the men talked soccer).  Before we left, we had exchanged email addresses with the lovely couple.

The whole time Phillipe and his wife had been waiting on us.  I was dying to find out if he remembered me.  Even though it had been 2 years, I was willing to try and find out.

I know enough French to get me by, but not enough to explain who I was to Phillipe.  But his lovely wife seemed to know English pretty well.

I called her over.  I explained.

Two years ago, I came all week with a journal, one night, stayed late, bunch of noisy Americans, he kept the place open….Did he remember?”

She translated for Phillipe.  As the French words danced out of her mouth and into his ear, he looked at me and I could see the look of recognition come over his face along with a warm smile.

He remembered. How nice.

I left that night with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So, next time you are in Paris, stop by for a bite, a glass of wine or just to make some new friends.

What about you?  How does a place become one of your favorite haunts?  Have you ever made friends in a similar way, when you least expected it?

Taverne Henri IV
13 place du Pont-Neuf
Paris, France
01 13 31 43 54 27 90

  • User Gravatar
    Linda
    May 12th, 2008

    What a nice story, Robin. Yet another example of how nice Parisians can be. Last week I went back to one of my old haunts near Odéon. It was cool but I didn’t have the courage to ask the owners if they remembered me. I regret that now.

  • User Gravatar
    Kim
    May 12th, 2008

    Bonjour! I’ve been lurking around your lovely blog ever since I started planning my first trip to Paris.
    I’m leaving this Saturday and since I’ll be traveling alone, I was wondering if you could tell me how it felt to be in Paris at night by yourself. Are there areas I should avoid? Are there places I should seek out? I’m a little nervous about being out and about all by myself at night.
    Merci beaucoup!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange responds
    May 12th, 2008

    Linda~ Hey, there is always next time ;)
    Kim~ Thanks for letting me know you are out there:) I like it when you come out of hiding!! Paris seemed very safe to me. You will be fine on your own at night. I would stick close to the city center, the Seine, the more populated area’s. Just be smart and be aware and you will be fine. Stick to the main streets, no back alleys…
    If you feel uncomfortable, try to walk near groups of people.
    Have a great *solo* trip. I remember how great it felt to be going and experiencing everything alone. I envy you!! Come back and tell me all about it!!!
    Bon Voyage Kim :)

  • User Gravatar
    NurseTerry
    May 12th, 2008

    In Amsterdam we had dinner in a little Italian Restaurant and met a lovely young couple. She was almost 9 months preggers and yet after our long discussion, they both hopped on their bicycles and headed home. We communicate by email. We have also met people in restaurants here in CA who have gone on to become close personal friends..OBAMA lovers all!

  • User Gravatar
    melinda
    May 12th, 2008

    I arrive in Paris on Monday and I shall seek out this Taverne. As I am travelling to Paris this time with my Mum I think this sounds like a friendly and safe spot for us to eat when we are very tired . We are staying in St Andres des Arts so it will be a nice stroll over!
    Thankyou for telling us about Taverne Henri IV!

  • User Gravatar
    Erin
    May 13th, 2008

    Oh, that sounds lovely. It’s those kinds of experience that really make a trip memorable.

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange responds
    May 13th, 2008

    Terry~ Friends can be made anywhere…I am convinced!! Glad to know they all love OBAMA!!!!
    Melinda~ Lucky girl!! Hhave a great time with your Mom…May is a great month to visit Paris!! Enjoy Henri IV, don’t forget a stroll thru the Place Dauphine!! Have a glass a wine for me ;)
    Erin~ Yeah, and the wine aint too bad either ;)

  • User Gravatar
    le petit cabinet de curiosites
    May 14th, 2008

    I’m sure I would love this place! Thank you for sharing this special parisian “restaurant”

  • User Gravatar
    TACE
    May 15th, 2008

    That sounds like such a fun experience, so warm and personal. To have the people keep the place open later is cool. True hospitality spirit I think. You think the same experience would be or could be had at a fast food joint? Pbbbt! haha Cool post.

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