Bar Hopping in Paris: Le Mary Celeste

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By Chelsea Boorman

On the way to the opening of an art gallery in the trendy Parisian neighborhood between the Maris and Place de la République, my friend and I stopped at Le Mary Celeste for a drink and some small plates. We originally had plans for another bar, but Le Mary Celeste beckoned us forward, somehow knowing that art and creativity were subconsciously on our minds. Only a little over a year old and slightly out of the way from the usual tourist haunts, this bar is a true gem sure to become a fixture in the neighborhood.

Peanut syrup and sesame oil? In a cocktail? Le Mary Celeste is best for people who have a slightly wild culinary side.

The cocktails crafted at this bar are truly innovative: Don’t Feed the Monkey, features a combination of malt whiskies and hints of lemon, peanut syrup, and sesame oil, expertly blended into a smooth and savory drink that was oddly comforting and refreshing; another cocktail, Rain Dog, mixes bourbon, herbal liquor, sweet syrup, and hints of orange, lemon and mint for a refreshing drink with a bit of bite.

While it’s nice to sit at a table and watch Paris unfold in the streets, the key to making the most of Le Mary Celeste is grabbing a seat at the bar and watching the bartenders craft the cocktails, otherwise known as works of liquid art. Each drink is carefully made and garnished with sprigs of lavender, orange peels, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or a light spraying of alcohol on the top to give each drink just a tiny amount of extra depth.

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The drinks are fantastic, but the small plates are what give Le Mary Celeste an edge above other similar craft-cocktail bars, and why I’ve already been back twice in the last week.

The mention of deviled eggs used to remind me of a picnic dish with stiff yolks and too much paprika. The deviled eggs at Le Mary Celeste should be measured on an entirely different spectrum. The yolks of these eggs have been whipped into a magically creamy consistency and topped with ginger, scallion, and crispy puffed rice for an added texture. Spicy, floral, creamy, crunchy – these are the eggs of dreams.

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Other creative dishes include cubes of rice cakes atop a spicy harissa-like sauce; a beef Carpaccio served with peanuts, jalapeño peppers and bean sprouts; a fresh salmon crudo with dill and thinly sliced pork shoulder dried overnight; and a heaping serving of fresh flaked salmon atop toasted bread and a savory aioli. The menu changes seasonally, and it would be especially worth going when Le Mary Celeste has its raw oyster bar in full swing.

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High quality food and drinks together with the open feel of the bar, laid-back servers in overalls, brightly colored stain glass windows, and friendly employees give this bar a cultured and relaxed vibe. It somehow masters the art of being both simple and refined.

If you relish in the idea that French food is cooked with fresh ingredients, developed with elegant flavors, and enjoyed leisurely, then visit Le Mary Celeste. Order a few small plates to share with a friend, drink a few cocktails, watch the bartenders whip up some drinks, and enjoy being in the moment.

Le Mary Celeste
1 Rue Commines, 75003 Paris
Open daily from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am

*This is the first post in the “Bar Hopping in Paris” series related to unique bars and eateries in city.

About the author:

Chelsea is a student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where she is studying international economics and foreign policy. Living in France at a young age and being a dual U.S. and Jamaican citizen fostered her love for travel and for learning about different cultures through food, politics, language, and the arts. In addition to food and traveling, her passions include reading, writing, international politics, and the outdoors. To read more about her travels, check out her blog: http://twentysomethingandabroad.com/.

  • Linda B.

    Excellent – can’t wait to read the next one(s)!

  • Karen S

    Wonderful! Would definitely stop in for a bite if in the area. Looking forward to next article!