Verdict? Slightly pricey but very delicious. Anything served in a martini glass is a fools game, that is unless you posess some semblance of self-control, which I do not. Tiny drinks are for tiny drinkers, and big drinkers like myself need big drinks. So, here’s what I think of Lone Palm, in Paris’ 11th arrondissement.
If I had to sum it up: the decor reminds me of old school Miami or Los Angeles, not unlike something you might have already seen in Pulp Fiction. The music was good, the service was friendly, and the drinks were exquisite. There’s a fine line that’s difficult to see and easy to cross when it comes to the cocktail game, and I shall explain it to you here. I’m not going to spend 8 bucks on a sugary mojito made by someone who thinks hair gel is still in style or that seeing Tiesto at Ultra was a life changing experience. Instead, I’d rather drop that extra couple of bucks on a high quality drink served to me in a high class environment. However, I simply do not have the money or the self-control, like I said, to drink something that comes in a glass I can lift with the same two fingers I can use to hold a single buffalo wing.
I believe that better cocktails: taste better, have less sugar (less hangover), use higher quality alcohol (no hangover), and use more alcohol (but somehow still, no hangover). So to me, 3 nicer cocktails are better than 4 gross ones. I drank about five or six drinks last Friday night, including but not limited to vodka, absinthe, gin, tequila, and a fair amount of complementing liqueurs, and I had no hangover. Everyone else found themselves in the same boat, as I found out the next night when we gathered at a friend’s house for a party in Pigalle, where we drank Jagerbombs and red wine all night. It’s safe to assume we did have hangovers Sunday. So to make a long story short, I’ll always vote for the nicer place with the better drinks if I’m in the mood for cocktails, not to mention the atmosphere and service is generally more desirable in nicer places as well. So as long as I can find a drink that is large enough to last me, I’m happy. Here’s the menu for Lone Palm, and you can see which glasses they are served in. To me this is the mark of a bar that knows what they’re doing:
And boy did they. That Salton Sea cocktail was one of the best cocktails I’ve had here in Paris: Tequila infused with red bell pepper and coriander, falernum, which is like a clovey, nutty sweet syrup, agave liqueur, lime and green jalapeño Tobasco. That is all of my favorite flavors packed into one drink, and it was the first of a few different drinks that made my visit to Lone Palm worth the wait, and it reminded me of New York, probably becauseI love hot sauce, and I was a tequila vacuum when I lived there. It turns out I still am.
My friends were drinking Lone Palms; dill-infused Gin cocktails with Thai Basil, cucumber, lemon and lime, and Fentiman’s ginger beer. For those of you that don’t know, Fentiman’s makes tonics, sodas and whatnot that will take a cocktail to the next level every time. Those Lone Palms were a fine craft to be enjoyed.
I also ingested a sloe-fizz or two after I decided to make the move to the ‘larger cup’ situation I’ve advocated for above. My friends thought it was weird to have raw egg in a cocktail, because the craft cocktail is a fairly new concept here in Paris, but they tried it and liked it and I tried it and then tried it again four or five times throughout the night in two different cocktail bars.
Last but not least, I will mention the Zombie, which I am experienced in due to my past visits to Cienfuegos in Alphabet City. It’s a cup of three different rums, some other stuff, and some fire and a marinated pineapple wedge. Drink to get wasted. Recommended.
So overall, avoid the drinks in tiny cups, but certainly head to Lone Palm after dinner one Friday or Saturday night, and indulge in a bit of American ambiance and some magnificent cocktails. There’s a mellowed out DJ in the corner too. Either that or an iPod, and someone was just there checking e-mails.
Where: 21 Rue Keller, Paris 11. Open: Daily 6p-2a. Metro: Shown Below. How Much: Menu shown above.
PS – I haven’t posted some songs in a while! So here’s what I’ve been into lately.