Dans les Landes


Fried chipirons (baby squid) at Dans les Landes, in the 5th Arrondissement, in Paris

Fried chipirones (baby squid).

Dans Les Landes
119 bis, rue Monge, in the 5th Arrondissement.
01 45 87 06 00. Tues–Sat, noon–11 p.m.

Julien Duboué of the bistro Afaria, in the 15th Arrondissement, has brought his southwestern cooking to the 5th, dressed it down and fried it up, and the result is one of the best tapas and wine bars in Paris.
This place is best enjoyed with a group around one of the high communal tables. The small plates are actually fairly generous and meant to be shared. More people means that you can try more dishes.
And there is plenty to try. The ardoise has about two dozen dishes listed, a large proportion of which are fried, contain ham or both. There’s a pot of warm boudin, duck hearts en persillade, pigs’ foot in vinegary escabeche. There are bouchées (mouthfuls) of Landes salad, duck breast, foie gras, and lettuce wrapped and served as a spring roll. Sardine rillettes are seasoned with piment d’Espelette. There is, of course, charcuterie and cheese, including gorgeous Ospital hams.

Croquettes of polenta and smoked duck at Dans les Landes, in the 5th Arrondissement, in Paris

Croquettes of polenta and smoked duck.

We had croquettes of polenta with smoked duck, fantastic finger food. Chipirones (baby squid, also fried) were served in a wooden clog. Brochettes of ham and brebis (sheep’s milk cheese) arrived on skewers stuck into a hollowed out cheese shell, accompanied by pale, skinny peppers, some hotter than others (watch out). Minicroissants filled with truffled ham weren’t so mini, but that didn’t stop us. There are plenty of wines by the glass to wash all of this down.

The space used to be a café. There are seats along the long bar, two communal tables for 12, a few regular tables for 2 and a huge terrace with café seating that will surely be packed when warmer weather hits.
I’ll be there, at least.
In a nutshell: Round up a group and head to Dans les Landes for a night of serious grazing.
Price check: Small plates (not so small), 6–15 euros.
If Dans les Landes sounds good, you’ll also like L’Avant Comptoir. Read the review.
L’Avant Comptoir
9, carrefour de l’Odéon, in the 6th Arrondissement.
No reservations. Open daily.

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