Mavrommátis – La Cave à Vin, a small shop that specializes in wines from Greece, recently began serving a lunchtime menu. I happened by on their first day of service and decided to try the food. As it turned out, I had a delightful meal.
I sat down at a tall table on the sidewalk terrace under the store’s awning, which sheltered me from a brief rain shower. Studying the menu, I saw that you can order a hot sandwich plus either an accompaniment or a dessert for 11€. For an additional 4€, you can get a glass of wine with the meal. I decided to opt for a sandwich wrap called Le Chypriote mixte, which contained halloumi, a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk and lountza, a meat delicacy of dried, smoked, pork tenderloin.
For the accompaniment, I ordered Tzatziki, a serving of cool Greek yoghurt with sliced cucumber and chopped mint.The Tzatziki was served first. It arrived on a tray in a small bowl with an accompanying bowl containing two small, warm pita breads, cut in half. The rich yoghurt tasted so creamy that I could almost imagine that I was eating cucumber-and-mint flavored ice cream. It was delicious with the warm pita bread. What a delight!
Following the Tzatziki, the Chypriote mixte sandwich wrap was served. Made with halloumi, lountza, olives, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and mint, it had been rolled tightly in flat pita bread to form a cylinder and cut into two parts, each measuring about 2” in diameter by 5” or 6” in length. The portions were generous, and I tucked into them with gusto, savoring every bite. Much of the flavor came from the lountza, which tasted like smoked bacon. In essence, I was eating a succulent, flavorful bacon, lettuce, cheese, tomato, and cucumber sandwich.
For the wine accompaniment, I ordered a glass of Kechribari retsina, a straw-colored wine from Greece that exudes a hint of pine resin. I had tasted this wine at another Mavrommátis restaurant and knew that it would go well with the food that I ordered.
I was served by two different waiters, both of whom were friendly and helpful.
The bill for this sumptuous lunch came to only 15€.
Travelers to Paris who find themselves in the vicinity of the popular market street called rue Mouffetard will find Mavrommátis – La Cave à Vin to the left of the fountain at the bottom of the hill. A delightful Greek-style lunch awaits you!
Mavrommátis – La Cave à Vin
49, rue Censier
Metro Station: Censier-Daubenton (Line 7)
Type of cuisine: Greek / Cypriot
Days & hours of operation: Tues to Fri noon – 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Credit card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express