Paris Cocktail Adventures: Why Paris (closed)

Why Paris

60, Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau
75001 Paris
Tel : 01 40 26 47 63
I’m going to try and not let this post morph into a modern day Abbot and Costello sketch – but with a name like “Why” you see how I might go there. My first impression of this smallish spot is that the dark walls contrast with the stark white tables and chairs to give it a warm but modern ambiance. The background music, while not overwhelmingly loud, was fun and funky – with Boogieman and the nearly forgotten 80’s single Din Da Da making me dance around in my chair just a little bit as I perused the list of cocktails on offer.
I was immediately impressed by the menu which featured a good number of standards such as Manhattans, ti punch and bourbon sours, some new and interesting creations such as the bubble gum, bee sting and Why Paris Chocolate (all of which were a hit with those who favored sweeter drinks) and the unusual: “cocktail destructurés“.
Owner and bartender, Christophe, previously worked at le Forum, so he already had a pretty good arsenal of cocktail making skills before branching out on his own. My Bombay martini was stirred, served up in a chilled glass with a twist and tasted like it was made with love and care (I was given a choice of gins when I ordered, but took the house). With six of us packed around a couple of four tops, we had the opportunity to sample several drinks. Everyone was generally happy with their choices and for the second round I moved onto the deconstructed cocktails.
The Somerset was a measure of tequila with a bit of lime served up on the rocks in a martini glass accompanied by a puree of tomato and avocado. To consume this uniquely presented little concoction, you take a spoon full of the puree and follow it with a sip of the tequila. While I wouldn’t order one after another of these, I did get a kick out of the presentation and enjoyed the one I had.
While I was disappointed with the ‘gimmicky’ drinks i had at the Plaza Athenee some time ago, I felt none of that here. With these drinks – though in a similar vein – i felt like Christophe has much more of a genuine interest in creating and sharing something special with his clients and at a much more reasonable price. Violaine followed up with the deconstructed Planteur consisting of pineapple slices, jellied angostura orange and rum and a mini planteurs.
A few of us girls ended up lingering longer than usual, and after awhile Christophe brought over a small minty drink. While I never think a barman ‘owes’ customers a drink, i think it’s a nice touch when they bring something around on the house after a few rounds. One of the reasons we may have stayed longer than usual were the tasty bar snacks. No mere olives or pretzels, the Why brings out a nice tray of bread, salsa and rillette de veau. While the salsa was so so (I’m pretty picky about my salsa and could tell this came from a jar) the rillette was the star. Tasty and substantial, it allowed the group to while away a bit more time without having to rush off to get something in our tummies.

Why prices are reasonable for the quality at 10 Euros. However, what I noticed particularly catching patrons and passerby’s eye were the mojitos and caipirihnias at 6 Euros on offer at the moment. And, the few outside tables seem a good place to sample one of these during the summer months while people watching.

So, overall, for the Why bar, I give an enthusiastic “Why not!?”


5 thoughts on “Paris Cocktail Adventures: Why Paris (closed)

  1. We are going to try Why out. Thanks for the tip. If you are ever in Munich, try a place called The Potting Shed. It is a small tapas and martinis bar in Schwabing, totally unassuming but good. You might like their cucumber martini or wasabi martini as you seem to prefer them dry. There is a place in London called The Dirty Martini that I want to try. I will try to remember to post a comment here and let you know how it was 🙂

  2. Very good. I was just there a couple of nights ago and will be there for a party this weekend. Tell Christophe (bartender/owner) hi for me if you go down…he knows I like my martinis, too! 🙂

    I'm heading to London in a few weeks to check out the Lonsdale & recheck out the Montgomery Place (which is very good!) for London, there's a link on my blogroll to the "cocktail lovers" They are a couple in London who review bars there and they seem to have some good suggestions, if you do head that way.

    thanks for the tip on Potting Shed. I probably won't get back to Munich soon, but I was just suggesting some places to cocktail snob as he may go soon and I'll pass that one onto him!

    Even though I don't blog on bars outside of Paris, I do travel a lot to check out new places…so do keep me posted if you get to the Dirty Martini (and if i will, too if I happen to make it there!)


  3. Went there a couple of days ago. The place is welcoming and would be a good spot for a private event. Also, they plan to add another bar on the underground.
    Christophe, the manager/barman was back from holidays. We had a nice chat with him about the French cocktail hot spots (not much to see out of Paris and the Riviera according to him).
    I took a Why Paris Love (kind of royal mojito)which was nice and asked Christophe to make a dry gin-based cocktail. The latest was way too strong although the first sip was encouraging.
    My friend had a Tarte au citron and loved it (100% sugar).
    So my tip is to stick with the cocktail menu. There is definitively a good potential here. Eventually, Christophe offered us a round – cool.

    I was at the Sherwood bar the day before and had a basil and strawberry mojito which was great. You should stop by Forest, it's located next to the Harry's and has a warm ambiance.

    PS : great blog – it's a shame I didn't heard about it before

  4. Thanks for the nice comment about the blog, Hub! Yes – i've done a couple of private parties at the Why & Christophe has always been fun, friendly & helpful. Good to hear they are going to add a bar downstairs, but it's a bit of a pain to run up and down if you are having a private thing downstairs. I'll definitely give the Sherwood a try when I get a chance!

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