The buzz: Sathorn’s most-buzzing casual European-style bar, Le Cafe Des Stagiaires, has turned its second and third floors into a separate French bistro offering proper dining and even more cocktails.
The decor: The wood-paneled walls and smooth, curved lines of the leather chairs add a touch of ‘50s modernism, muted somewhat by elegantly-dressed tables complete with stemware and tablecloths. Like downstairs, the walls are lined with artful bric-a-brac from photographs by renowned documentary photographer Martin Parr to retro beer signs.
The food: French chef Aurel Termini creates fine traditional food with a few twists, some brought about by his attempts to source as many local ingredients as possible. Highlights from the compact menu include his take on poulet ecrevisse (B510), which comprises a king prawn and prawn-meat-stuffed chicken with mashed green pea and bisque, and pork feet (B620), which are cooked for six hours and then wrapped with mushroom in pork belly fat, served with Marjoram sauce and herbs. Other picks are the tenderloin with flavorful “Burning Love” (B680), a Danish-style mashed potato that’s seasoned with shallots, chives, apple cider and truffle, as well as the pan-fried mussels with white wine sauce, herbs, lychee and homemade dill oil. For dessert, there are French classics like chocolate entremets (mousse-filled chocolate cake, B250) and St. Honore (three small cream puffs on a base of choux pastry, B250)
The drinks: Not only is the food menu completely different from the first floor bar, but the restaurant also has its own petite craft cocktail-centric bar manned by Nopadon “Bom“ Thansongla (of Vice Versa fame). Tell him what sort of drink you like and he'll make it or choose from six signature cocktails based on various different spirits. We like Monsieur Bom (B340), a classic Old-Fashioned-style drink based on Chivas Regal Extra whiskey and sweetened with vermouth, port wine and a dash of bitters with torched cinnamon, anise, clove and orange peel on the side.
Why you should care: Like the downstairs bar, the restaurant has a friendly charm even when packed out, making it a top pick for a classic French meal with friends. Natcha Sanguankiattichai and Vasachol Quadri