One rainy afternoon a few months back my friend Terresa introduced me to Le Siffleur de Ballons, where we warmed ourselves over a bowl of homemade soup and enjoyed a glass of natural wine after visiting her nearby community garden. Every since that first visit, I've had a soft spot for this welcoming wine bar and restaurant that also stocks artisinal foods and natural wines that can be purchased to go.
While the bar is too far from my home to be my local hangout, I do pop in to pick up a bottle or enjoy a glass of wine whenever I can. So in honor of my Parisversaire this year, I stopped by Le Siffleur to celebrate 7 years in Paris with an excellent pairing of wine, cheese, and good company.
If you show up early enough and beat the dinner crowd you can usually find a spot at the bar or at one of the small tables nearby- arriving early also affords the opportunity to chat with the friendly servers, who are both knowledgeable and excited about the wine they are serving. Wine is sold by the glass and the prices are very reasonable, ranging from 3.50-5€. For special occasions, you can go all out and order a natural sparkling wine (6€) or a coupe of natural champagne (9€).
Fans of dry champagne will delight in natural bottles of bubbly, due to the fact that the process used in making them omits the "dosing" step when sweet syrup or wine is added to the bottle before sealing, leading to a heightened sweetness upon uncorking.
Due to alcohol licensing restrictions, patrons of Le Siffleur are obliged to order their wine with a side of farm-to-table snacks, including artisinal fresh cheeses (7€), charcuterie (5€) or a mixture of the two (14€).
This "cave à boire et à manger" is a spinoff of L'Ebauchoir, the animated restaurant across the street whose natural wine list brings oenophiles from all around. Le Siffleur continues in the tradition of solid wine choices, with a large selection of wines from the Loire (the sparkling wine they are currently serving by the glass is from the Loire Valley), as well as other major wine producing regions in France (and a few in Italy as well).
A happy buzz animates the bar, as people enjoy their apéro, entrée, or an entire meal. Crumbles, baguettes, covered dishes, and sometimes even extra chairs, are brought over from L'Ebauchoir as diners and drinkers drift between the two establishments.
This neighborhood favorite keeps convenient hours for afternoon meals and wine runs. Stop by for their lunch menu, which includes a the vegetable soupe du jour, a tartine, and salad + glass of wine (or fruit juice) for 15€ or just pop in for a fruit crumble (6€) and head home with a bottle of carefully selected vin naturel.
Le Siffleur de Ballons
Tuesday-Saturday: 10h30-15h & 17h30 to 22h (Thursday, Friday, Saturday until 23h)