More a restaurant than a wine bar, this British-owned spot is a stylish haunt for Parisian and visiting gourmands who might stop in for a glass of wine at the oak bar or settle into the wood-beamed dining room. The selection of reinvented classic dishes changes daily and might include roast cod with artichokes and asparagus in spring, venison in wine sauce with roast pears and celery-root chips in fall, and mango candied with orange and served with vanilla cream in winter. Chef François Yon has been in the kitchen for 20 years, ensuring a consistency that isn't always reflected in the service. The restaurant is prix-fixe only, but you can order appetizers at the bar. The list of about 250 wines reflects co-owner Mark Williamson's passion for the Rhône Valley and Spanish sherries.
Jul 5, 2012
I got food poisoning when I ate here on June 27th. I made the mistake of ordering the raw fish for the First Course. Two hours later I was sick as a dog, and I remained that way every half hour for 10 hours. My hotel concierge called the restaurant (I cannot converse in French) after he called the pharmacy for me. Willi's did nothing/offered nothing and denied it happened. It was my worst nightmare. So I post this to warn others. We arrived before
7:00 because we had 9:00 show tickets. The place was empty but they were annoyed we (4) walked in and sat us by the kitchen. They did nothing to move things along. We had to leave before desert since we had to go. All this can be chalked up to bad timing, but what hit me next was horrible. Their reaction (lack of) was the topper. I am back home in the US now and finally recovered, but I will never forget this.
Oct 17, 2008
some years ago,during a winter visit to france, i opened the door at 13 petit champs. the after lunch crowd was winding down and a group of americans from alabama sat at the bar torturing the french language. after sitting, removing my beret and coat, the bartender asked if I would like anything. I looked over the by-the-glass offering and asked for the Reisling from Alsace (a nice Village quality wine from a lesser Alsace winery). She smiled and
before pouring asked me if I lived in France. My answer was no, just visiting for a tour of burgundy and lunch at the Clos de Vougeot. Her smile broadened. She immediately reached below the bar, placed a Riedel glass in front of me and followed by pouring not the Village wine I asked for rather a grand cru Reisling from Domaine Weinbach. I asked that she not let the americans know I too was one of their kind. She laughed. We talked in-between her pouring and charging. After the americans left, with directions translated by me (to their amazement), Mark joined us and he began pouring some very nice Premiere Cru red burgundy. A few hours past, a few deserts were tasted (everything else in the kitchen was gone) and many laughs shared. Around 6 PM long after closing willi's for the afternoon,I left to walk to dinner at brassiere lipp. upon arriving the maitre d' immediatley approached me while I waited in line. Mssr, please this way, your table is ready. Mark had called ahead and reserved a table for me. Brassiere Lipp started me off with a nice Crement followed by a fine Albert Mann pinot gris with the oysters, a premiere cru burgundy from Gevery Chambertain with the chicken and a fabulous Trimbach gerwerstraminer with the cheese. One American learned of life's lesson that rainy February afternoon. Thank you, my friends.