17 October 2011
I've just been informed by a colleague that Auvergnat bistro Le Petit Vendôme, the Opéra area's greatest lunch spot, is set to close in December. Apparently the PV folks were never owners of the space, and now the actual owner has decided to rent to someone else. Given the location, just off the Place Vendôme, I suspect I'm not being unrealistically morbid in anticipating that a Quality & Co. or some similar soulless salad-tossing concern will move-in. There are already no less than three on that block alone.
Admittedly, the place was never a wine destination. In fact on the few occasions I was press-ganged by colleagues into choosing a bottle of wine there I went on to receive whole fusillades of charming, good-hearted abuse from the proprietors, who are people for whom wine is a beverage like sparkling water or Fanta and not something about which someone might write a rambling discursive blog. Despite this oversight, it has always seemed to me very clear that someone in charge at Le Petit Vendôme has fine unshakeable old-school standards with regards to cheeses, meat, bread, and cook temperatures. All are perfect and served utterly blasé.
The PV team is departing for another location in the 8ème arrondissement, which is good news for those who work there. For myself, and anyone else lucky enough to work smack in the center of business-touristic Paris amongst dandruff-crested bankers and Chinese bus trips and folks who film the static jewels in the Chanel window, it's a lunchtime tragedy.
UPDATE: 16.1.2012: The place appears NOT to be closing yet. They've renewed discussion with the landlord. Considering the usual pace of these things in France, I think we can rely on a steady sandwich supply for the foreseeable future.
Le Petit Vendôme (until December)
8, rue des Cappucines
Tel: 01 42 61 05 88
An enormous duck salad at Le Petit Vendôme, 75002
A brief introductory piece on Le Petit Vendôme, 75002
An amusing wine bottle on display at Le Petit Vendôme, 75002
Ugly but delicious poached eggs at Le Petit Vendôme, 75002