Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ô Château: Afternoon Delight

Perhaps it’s called “Ô Château” after its adorable and animated sommelier-owner, Olivier Magny. He definitely knows how to please.

We first visited Ô Château several years ago in Olivier’s apartment/tasting room in the 11th arrondissement of Paris where we did the Wine & Cheese Tasting Lunch. He’s moved twice since then. First, to a proper commercial space near the Louvre and again, just recently, into an even bigger location to make room for a wine bar/restaurant.

To evolve like this in Paris, Olivier and his now team are obviously doing something right. Having just visited the new place, I can tell you first-hand what it is: They love what they do and they love sharing it. The friendly service is so refreshing for a moment I actually forgot I was in Paris. I quickly remembered, however, when my food arrived. Lunch was prepared by Chef Tiffany Depardieu, formerly of Jules Vernes. We enjoyed a creamy carrot and parsnip soup followed by a quinoa and smoked duck breast salad. The menu also includes appetizers: cheese and charcuterie plates, escargots, etc.

On the wine side, they boast 40 by the glass (including Pétrus) and 400 by the bottle, which can be enjoyed upstairs at the wine bar or downstairs in the lounge on leather sofas and chairs – also a perfect place to enjoy a digestif.

This is a great place to grab a quick lunch**, meet for a happy hour of wine and cheese, or*** arrange a tasting or private party in one of their two tasting rooms.

Organized Wine Tastings: 30€, 50€, 80€ (for “Grands Crus”); Wine & Cheese Tasting Lunch: 75€; Wine Tasting Dinner: 130€; Champagne Cruise: 45€; Lunch: 14€; Dinner: 28€

68, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris
Métro Louvre -Rivoli (Line 1) or Etienne Marcel (line 4)

Addendum: After posting this piece on The Dish and The Dirt, I received inquiries/comments regarding the prices at Ô Château and what some perceived, including the French paper L'Express, as being too high.  On this point, I do believe the tastings by the glass are a bit pricey.  In fact, we would have been much better off ordering a bottle of wine*** (which seems a bit incompatible since the "theme" of the bar is tastings).  While this is generally the case in most restaurants, it is particularly true at this one. However, the barman told us that the restaurant had only been open a week and that they were considering either lowering the prices of their tastings by the glass or providing larger servings.  I got the impression they're still working on finding the good price point/what the market will bear.  Additionally, if you're a fan of Ô Château on Facebook, you're entitled to 10% off the check - which makes the prices easier to swallow. 

**Please view comment section below. Olivier from Ô Château has provided info on new prices and new hours (no longer open for lunch).

***Second addendum: After receiving Olivier's comments below, I returned to Ô Château to check out the new prices and to see what it would be like at night (opposed to a Saturday lunch, which is when my husband and I had first visited). The bar was nearly full with a nice mix of tourists and locals at 7.30 pm, and was completely full an hour later. Both group tasting rooms were booked, as well. We sat at the bar this time, opposed to a table. Being on the shorter to average side and a former liability attorney, I found the stools a bit unstable/comfortable. However, the employees working the bar were nice and fun and we enjoyed our exchanges with them. We ordered the 24 euro dinner menu, which included a soup, a "tapas" style plate, and a dessert. Once again, I was impressed by the quality of the food, especially for the price. As for the wine, the prices of the glasses had been lowered. We each had a 10 cl. (3.4 oz) glass of Jura (me white, my friend red) at 8.90 euros and a 15 cl. (5 oz) glass for 12.20 euros. I asked to see the wine-by-the-bottle list as my husband had remarked that it was significantly cheaper to buy by the bottle (hence my comment above). I was searching the list for the bottle I had previously seen at 36 euros; it was no longer there. Olivier informed me he had removed the lower priced wines from the list to motivate people to order by the glass. I think the cheapest bottle was about 49 euros ($70.00), but I could be wrong as I flipped through it quickly. After this last visit, I wanted to revise what I said previously about it being a great place to meet for drinks. If you want to hang out and relax with friends in a comfortable environment with the focus being on the company not necessarily the wine, then I'm not sure this would be the right fit.  (And based on certain comments made by Olivier that evening, I get the impression he doesn't want this type of client; I happen to fall into this category, btw).  However, if you are interested in wine tasting and would like to take a course or already know about wine and want to sit at the bar and taste some by the glass (especially some higher-end ones that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do) then you would probably like Ô Château. 


Olivier (of O Chateau) said...

Thanks for this lovely article.

Just a quick note on the price point. When we first opened, our pricing file had a few mistakes thus resulting on prices higher than normal. Apologies for this.

Evreything is now fixed and wine is back to being as good and good value as it has always been at O Chateau.

We also changed the size of the servings to 3, 10 and 15cl. (small taster, glass, larger glass).

Voilà - you know everything.


Olivier (of O Chateau) said...

Oh... and last thing: we are now closed for lunch and only open at 3pm.

Hope to see you soon at the bar or for a tasting.


Amy75 said...

Hi Olivier, Thanks for the update! Have a girlfriend in town, maybe we'll come in tomorrow for happy hour :) If not, I'll for sure be back soon!

Olivier (of O Chateau) said...

Avec plaisir...

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Manic Minx said...

looks amazing, thanks for sharing! :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

looks delicious! Wish I got into the city more often. We're in the 94th.

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