fried chicken

If you’re one of those people who’ve been trying to get one of the coveted places at Hidden Kitchen, the supper club in Paris, liberté and egalité have arrived in the form of a wine bar and restaurant called Verjus.

verjus wine bar Verjus blackboard

After running their successful dinners, they’ve decided to take the plunge and create a warm space where they could welcome any and all guests, whether they want a glass of wine in their cave, or a full meal in the upstairs dining room. The restaurant is now open (and it sounds like they have enough stories about the problems they’ve had starting it up to write a book), the wine is flowing in the cave beneath it, and both are wonderful.

brocolli and Korean rice cakes wine bottle at Verjus

I’ve become a good customer of wine bars in Paris, over restaurants, because I like the casual atmosphere, the ability to have a few different kinds of wines at reasonable prices, and not dealing with the stress of having to make a reservation. (Although some of the wine bars in Paris now take reservations.) At most bar à vins, the staff is generally young, friendly, and much more interested in doing a good job with the food and wine selection than the older and more established bistros, while still remaining resolutely French.

Verjus in Paris

Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian aren’t French, but are part of the young generation of chefs and cooks who are doing something a little different here in Paris, which isn’t something especially easy in a culture where change comes slowly. At Verjus, they’re managed to combine a nod to the traditional wine bar with hot, made-to-order food. Food like this often gets deemed tapas-style in Paris, and quality can really vary. But the selection here is much more substantial and inventive than what is usually offered around town, so I’d like to propose a city-wide initiative to call them petits plats, especially since we’re in France.

Les petits plats at Verjus run from €4 to €7, and the wines come in between €5 and €12 a glass (for Champagne), which change frequently and are curated with the help of Juan Sanchez of La Dernièr Goutte. And for those of you who can’t resist sweets – after you’ve made a meal out of a few savory bites and a glass (or two) of wine – Laura’s past as a pastry chef shines through in desserts like a Salted Caramel Pudding, Roasted Figs with mint ice cream and chocolate cookies, or a Quince Sorbet with candied kumquats, which change, depending on the season.

Verjus in Paris frites at Verjus

The regular choices change daily as well, but if Braden were to take the Poulet frit au lait ribot, salade de chou et jalapeno off the menu, crisp-fried chicken with a spicy cabbage salad, there would be a revolution. (And this one would make the last one here look like a debutant party…) And I’m a big fan of their French fries, which are cooked from fresh-cut potatoes and served absolutely crisp, with a side of house made ketchup and spiked with togarashi, a Japanese chili powder-based seasoning with provides a little extra heat.

The restaurant is a hit, although I’m often happiest in a wine bar, pulling up to a counter and sipping some nice wines. And if there’s crunchy fried chicken and good French fries? – Well, those doesn’t hurt either.

fried chicken at Verjus

47, rue Montpensier (Bar à vin)
52, rue de Richelieu (Restaurant)

Related Links and Posts

Caramelized White Chocolate Cakes

Le Baron Rouge

Le Garde Robe and Spring

Frenchie Wine Bar

Le Rubis


Verjus (The Paris Kitchen)

Verjus (Paris By Mouth)

Verjus (Facebook page)

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  • Cathy
    October 23, 2011 6:15am

    Oh my! This looks divine!

  • Andrea
    October 23, 2011 6:41am

    So glad to see they are open. The fried chicken looks divine!

  • October 23, 2011 6:46am

    That fried chicken looks amazing! So far, the best fried chicken I’ve ever had was in Paris, and I’m from Texas. Can’t wait to give this place a try.

  • October 23, 2011 9:26am

    on my list for next Paris visit! (soon I hope…)

  • Sarah
    October 23, 2011 9:26am

    Also had a fantastic meal at O Chateau…
    Parisian wine bars seem to be becoming the real deal.

  • Jeanette beger
    October 23, 2011 9:53am

    I recieved an email about this opening last week. Is it only for the hip or would a pair of goofy midwesterners fair OK?

    • October 23, 2011 10:19am
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve been twice and would say it’s definitely not hip – which is not an insult, but is generally a mix of everyone, from French people stopping in to see what the new place on the street is, to folks like me who’ve been diners at Hidden Kitchen and like their cooking.

  • October 23, 2011 10:39am

    Verjus sounds lovely but also totally solid. I wish we had something refined and also good value like that here in Berlin.

  • Debbie
    October 23, 2011 12:23pm

    Last year I was on the Hidden Kitchen waiting list — exactly one year ago last night as a matter of fact — and received an email that I was “in”…..unfortunately because I was travelling I didn’t see the email until a few hours before dinner, so was passed over. Have wondered if I’d ever get the chance to taste their marvelous food. Now I will definitely plan my next trip to Paris around a visit to Verjus. It sounds divine. Have been following their trials of trying to open their restaurant via their emails….if it does open they deserve a medal just for that!!!

    On another note, really wanted to get to the book signing event at the Sugarplum Cake Shop yesterday. Unfortunately it is school vacation week in NL and the Thalys tickets were astronomical!!! Will you ever come to Den Haag or Amsterdam for an event? You have so many fans here!!!

  • Gej
    October 23, 2011 2:23pm

    Very nice! Curious, what are those micro-greens sprinkled on the fried chicken?

  • October 23, 2011 2:27pm

    I’m a t-totaller, but do you think they’d mind if I went just for the frites? I’m truly a connaisseur when it comes to fries, and theirs look delicious.

  • October 23, 2011 3:48pm
    David Lebovitz

    Paris Paul: I am certain you could stop in for a bite and not have wine. I think they may have a few non-alcoholic beverage options, but am not certain of that.

    Debbie: Yes, that e-mail about what they went through to open was pretty startling, as were the stories behind the issues that arose. A big problem here is that if your business falls “outside the box”, it can be hard to get official approval to do things because it doesn’t fall within whatever guidelines there are, which are often very narrow and unbending. Unfortunately it really prevents people from being creative and opening businesses since it’s not easy, but Braden and Laura really persevered, and I raise a glass to them!

  • October 23, 2011 4:49pm

    SIGH, you make me want to jump on a plane and jet into France so I can enjoy this wonderful venue! Photos are awesome. Sadly the French will not be celebrating the World Cup win – the deserved to win as they played better than the All Blacks.

  • October 23, 2011 5:45pm

    This sounds like the place I have to go next time I will be in Paris. Thanks for sharing, it’s exactly that kind of places I am looking for. Usually it takes you some time to find them out, and as I am not livinig in Paris anymore, I am happy I can rely on some people (e.g. you) and then, when I am back, try out.

  • October 23, 2011 5:47pm

    I had the pleasure of dining at Hidden Kitchen last December and the meal was amazing!!! For people visiting Paris – the wine bar is not far from the Louvre. I can’t think of a better place to get drinks after a day at the museum. Thank you for the review (and beautiful photos!)- when I heard about Verjus, I thought it would be fantastic. Now I know for sure. Congratulations Braden and Laura!

  • October 23, 2011 5:47pm

    Those fries look so tempting and crunchy… and the presentation of the dishes is outstanding. France must be amazing, too bad I can’t travel by myself yet.

  • October 23, 2011 5:57pm

    So fantastic! I used to work with Laura at Theo chocolate in Seattle. She left to start hidden kitchen in Paris, with Braden. It’s great to have proof that dedication and vision pay off in the long run! Now I’m even reading about them on your blog, who knew? Congrats to them both!

  • October 23, 2011 6:01pm

    This place is amazing. I like little wine bars. When I’ll be in Paris, try out. Thank you for sharing.

  • October 23, 2011 7:23pm

    We wish the very best to Laura and Braden, and although we are a bit sad that the very special HK is no more, we look forward to this new venture. And the location is special to me: On my first trip to Paris, in the late 1960s, my famy took my sisters and me to a little restaurant down the alley behind the Washington Opera hotel. I remember orange sorbet served for dessert in hollowed out frozen oranges. Not haute, but memorable for a kid. I went back there a few times in the 1970s and 1980s. Now, with the wonder of Google maps, I’m pretty sure that the new Verjus is at, or at least next door to, this remembered location. I’m wondering: Is there/ was there an additional entrance to the new Verjus from the alley that connects rue Montpensier and rue de Richelieu? (Is the alley part of rue de Beaujolais?) — Jake

    • October 24, 2011 5:47am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, there are two entrances; one leads right to the wine bar and the other leads to the upstairs dining room, but they’re both connected by an inner staircase.

      When Laura and Braden took over the address, which housed a restaurant, they said it required a lot of cleaning. I won’t go in to what they found, but they said that when people came by looking for the old place, they said that the people should actually feel relieved because the kitchen as they found it was in pretty awful condition They did a lot of work on the place and it looks great.

  • October 23, 2011 7:34pm

    Looks delicious! Will definitely have to give it a try. (What wine DO you pair with fried chicken and fries?)

  • October 23, 2011 9:23pm

    I agree, the place is fantastic. Loved the fried chicken (of course) and the celeriac dumplings and veal meatballs were fantastic as well. Nicely chosen wines, too. Hooray for Braden and Laura!

  • paula
    October 23, 2011 9:37pm

    Enfin… wish there had been this option when we lived in Paris. We were always looking for “children friendly” restuarants when our kids were young. My daugher who was about 4 or 5 said, “The French seem to like their dogs more than their children!” We then looked for adult friendly ones.
    Finally as we were leaving Paris we discovered, that if were took our beautiful dog, Michou ( named after the one in Paris) the staff would warm to us immediately. Michou was allowed to sit at the table with us.
    Love those frites.

  • October 23, 2011 10:27pm

    Very, very cool.

  • October 23, 2011 11:02pm

    This looks like a wonderful dining experience!! the next time i go to Paris, I’m going to scour your blog for ideas on where to eat. :) these are some places i am sure even my who live there don’t know about!

  • October 23, 2011 11:19pm

    pretty little french fries….


  • Thea
    October 24, 2011 5:11am

    You had me at the frites! plus wine. I write of your photos, of course.

  • October 24, 2011 2:14pm

    Mon dieu. Fried chicken cooked by Braden? I can only imagine how delicious it is… followed by Laura’s salted caramel pudding. This goes straight to the top of my must-eat list!

  • October 24, 2011 3:45pm

    The food really does look delicious and the portions seem to have about the perfect size for a wine bar. But I wonder as well – what kind of wine do you have avec poulet frit / frites? :)

    • October 25, 2011 9:16am
      David Lebovitz

      White (Chablis) or rosé are perfect with fried chicken!

  • October 24, 2011 7:53pm

    Verjus looks amazing! I couldn’t agree more – wine bars in Paris are a great way to enjoy good food and wine in a more casual setting. Do you, by chance, have any favorite wine bars in or around NYC? I have found a few online, but would appreciate any tips you may have. Thank you!

    • October 25, 2011 9:17am
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t usually go to wine bars in the states because there are so many here in France, and the wine prices are a lot less : )

  • Jane
    October 25, 2011 6:13am

    David, their website says they are now taking reservations “into December.” We’ll be in Paris next week staying a few blocks away from Verjus. What’s the best approach to getting in? Any guidance would be most welcome, thanks.

    • October 25, 2011 9:15am
      David Lebovitz

      I think there is a number to call on their site, so you might want to try calling them. As mentioned, they are still doing some construction on the restaurant but they are probably in the best position to give an estimated guess on the exact opening.

  • October 25, 2011 4:45pm

    Ciao David! I am very excited to have found your blog. I love coming to Paris, but haven’t had the best foodie experiences yet. Looking forward to my next visit and stopping by Verjus. Keep up the good work! Best, Sofie.

  • October 26, 2011 12:03am

    Love the little crowded cave-like feeling – reminds me of the Liverpool ‘Cave’ where the Beatles had their first gig.

  • nardac
    October 26, 2011 10:32am

    Whatever you think about that fried chicken is nothing to what you’re going to think about that roast pork belly with pickled chillies… So sensational we ordered a second plate tout de suite. And… they have this really amazing bourbon that I’ve never seen before: Blantons. Smoooooooth… How do they say that in French? Probably just groans of ecstasy.

  • October 26, 2011 7:41pm

    One of the best meals we had in Paris in 2010 was at Hidden Kitchen! so I was so excited to receive an email from Laura and Braden that they would be opening Verjus.
    Can’t wait to try it!

  • Dave
    October 27, 2011 1:31am

    Can’t wait to go! Wonderful photos and a great review.

  • mazes
    October 28, 2011 12:26am

    yemekleriniz super.

  • Melissa
    November 1, 2011 4:09am

    I am heartbroken that I didn’t know of this when I was there less than two weeks ago!!! I guess I’ll just have to come back :)

    PS Sugar Plum was lots of fun! I read Ready for Dessert on the plane ride home.

  • Jen
    November 15, 2011 1:05am

    Thank you David for the recommendation – this place was wonderful! My boyfriend and I ate there last week and it was a highlight of our week long trip to Paris. Laura is lovely – we sat at the bar – and the food was amazing! We ordered, amongst other dishes, the broccoli and dumpling plate…so good. So much so that we ended up having it twice and asked for the bill before we ordered it a third time (not kidding!). Good luck to Verjus – we’ll visit the restaurant next time as Laura mentioned a December 1st opening :)

  • November 20, 2011 10:14am

    We tried Verjus last night and loved it. It’s an adorable space and it has a very casual, relaxed feel. Like you just dropped into someone’s apartment for a small party with friends. My husband was, I think, the only Frenchman in the crowd but it was nice to be surrounded by so many people speaking English! (And I actually bumped into someone I had met at the Paris by Mouth 1 year anniversary party).

    We sampled 5 dishes on the menu — broccoli with sea urchin and shaved parmesan (delicious), the fries (yum!), the fried chicken (amazing) and these absolutely delicious pieces of fatty pork on toast + the wonderful salted caramel pudding dessert. We were also able to try (a few days late) several glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau, which did not disappoint.

    I found it unusual that there was a note on the menu saying due to license limitations, they could only serve alcohol to guests who were eating at the same time. I wonder if this is one of the ways of getting around the legal issues you mention. I am in the process of opening up a commercial space and already have encountered a number of problems – it can be very difficult when your activity is not in a box that cannot be checked off! But as you say, perseverance pays off — definitely in Laura and Braden’s case!

  • Barbara Miller
    November 22, 2011 2:40am

    Two friends and I visited the wine bar on Nov.12, and we ate our way through the entire menu! It was all tasty, but highlights for me were the fried chicken, the dumplings, and the pork belly yum yum. A wonderful little place–Laura actually remembered me from a Hidden Kitchen dinner two years ago.