You know how much we love small plate dining here at Unlock Paris and you might have noticed that we're partial to a cocktail, too. And then there's our penchant for the area that we like to call SoPi (that's South Pigalle, to you) with our tongue firmly lodged in our cheek. Well, as luck would have it, Artisan ticks all of our boxes: located just behind the trendy rue des Martyrs in the 9th arrondissement, this cosy establishment serves a range of expertly mixed cocktails alongside tapas-sized dishes to share - perfect! Counter seating and a no-reservations policy create a laidback atmosphere - pitch up, pick a bar stool and order as you wish from the concise menu. Seasonally varying dishes include delights such as a jazzed-up croque monsieur with cured ham and mushrooms (€8), delicate root vegetables with hard-hitting horseradish (€7), langoustine ravioli in a sea of seafood emulsion (€10) and the pungent truffled brie (€10). For pudding, you can't go wrong with the creamy rice pudding with salted caramel and lime (€6) or the lemon creme brûlé with apple petals (€6) - both to be devoured with groans of wide-eyed pleasure. On the drinks menu are cocktails such as Be Sage (Bourbon, lemon juice, sugar, sage and Amaro, €13) or the playfully-named Are U Nuts (walnut-infused Cognac, white vermouth and chocolate bitters, €13) as well as a carefully chosen selection of wines (from €5 for a glass of Coteaux du Giennois). The high quality of the food combined with the casual dining format, coupled with a laidback yet softly-lit setting, makes Artisan a destination that's just as suitable for a romantic date as a dinner with friends - all in all, it's a winner in our books.
14 rue Brochart de Saron, 75009 Paris
Open Tues-Sat, 7pm-2am (kitchen closes at 00.30); Sunday midday-4pm for brunch.
photos copyright Kim Laidlaw 2014.