septime - 4Paris is a luxurious city, always on the top of the list of the cities with highest cost of living, and of course gastronomy is no exception. In a city full of luxurious and imposing dining rooms, true to the classic and refined French haute cuisine, where an experience is capable of tearing apart anyone’s bank account (Oligarchs are always the exception), a few years ago a movement emerged promising to democratize the French cuisine a bit, the Neo-Bistros, armed with highly creative chefs, relaxed services and more accessible prices. A movement that started with Yves Camdeborde (formerly at Le Régalade and more recently at Le Comptoir), also with Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand, which usually shines in the tops of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), and which brighter star is nowadays the Septime of Bertrand Grébaut.

septime - 6Bertrand, who became a chef under the wings of Alain Passard, in the famous L’Arpège, also “passed” by the interesting Ágape (where he achieved a Michelin star) before opening his Septime, with his partner Théo Pourriat, just over 3 years ago. Since then its success has been meteoric, getting a reservation is an hard task that requires patience and a “few many” hours around the website; and finding cuisine and entertainment stars there is easy, so much is he hype around the place.

But does Bertrand’s cuisine live up to the expectations created around it? Yes, and in oh what a way, so much that even the classic and demanding French Michelin Guide surrendered to Septime (a star).

septime - 7The decoration, in charge of Théo Pourriat, transports us a bit to the modern Scandinavian restaurants, in a combination of the rustic and the industrial. With beautiful wood tables and cemented walls, a relaxed and cosmopolitan environment where the great star is the food, without doubt.

With the visit scheduled for lunch, there are two formulas: starter + main + dessert (30€) or the six courses tasting menu (60€). We started once again with a nice selection of breads (it’s great to see when a restaurant cares about the bread it serves), to which were succeeding simple and exciting dishes.

septime - 12Scallops, Oyster and Daikon

Raw scallop with an oyster and watercress sauce, an interesting game between the sourness of the sauce and the delicacy and sweetness of the scallop. Well accompanied by small pieces of daikon and buckwheat grains, which added, and well, texture to the dish.

septime - 13Pumpkin broth, poached egg and foie

Clear and bright broth, like a true consommé, full of vegetable flavor and enriched with pumpkin pieces, foie gras and chicory. To connect it all a fantastic egg, perfectly cooked, with the creamy yolk giving greasiness and a connecting all the elements. Delicious.

septime - 11Squid, fennel, pak choi and chervil

Another simple aspect dish, with resource to 3 or 4 ingredients in a combination where they all shined. Excellent squid, with good flavor and texture and not less interesting the vegetables that shined in the dish, linked by an excellent herb butter serving as sauce.

septime - 10Lamb shank, sage and orange

Lamb from the small d’Yeu Island, cooked at a slow temperature for several hours, moist and packed with flavor. Even more when tasted with the sauce made with the liquids from the cooking of the orange and the sage. High note also to the anchovy sauce covering the cabbage and to the small bits of burnt orange, which smoky flavor and bitterness created even more layers of flavor in the dish. Very, very good.

septime - 9Reblochon and Beaufort

Then followed one of the smallest and modest cheese plates I was ever served in Paris. But don’t take it as criticism; they were two of the best cheeses I ate, and certainly the best examples of each I ever tasted. To be true I didn’t want the famous Reblochon from Savoy to end and I wished the delicate chips of Beaufort, from the same region, could last forever. An amazing cheese plate that represented quite well the essence of the restaurant.

septime - 8Fromage Blanc cream, citrus and muesli

A dessert quite to the usual type of Septime, light desserts where creams are combined with cereals and fruits. This time, a cream of fromage Blanc with honey, well sided by bergamot, clementine, lemon, and homemade muesli. Less interesting than the other dishes, but fulfilling its purpose of a light and fresh ending.

The wine list is elaborated with basis in small natural wine producers (without sulphites), which now can also be bought in the most recent Septime La Cave, the new bar and bodega of the group. We decided to accompany our meal with the excellent natural juices of La Table des Lutins, with highlight to the peach and lavender one that grabbed my heart.

The Service is relaxed, similar to the space and the kitchen, but not less professional, with all the team thoroughly knowing the particularities of each dish and its preparation, something even more interesting when you know that Septime’s menu changes in a daily basis. It is for sure a motivated team, willing to do more and better, without losing the brand that characterizes and differentiates them.

septime - 5Final Remarks

Bertrand and his team show us, and teach their competition, that is possible to be brilliant, innovating and authentic without robbing your guests. It is for sure the cheapest Michelin Guide restaurant in Paris, and probably in the world. About the expectations and all the hype around Septime, they are easily overdue by Bertrand Grébaut’s cuisine, the quality of the ingredients, the genius and creativity behind a menu that changes daily at the same rate of the Chef’s feelings and emotions, the minimalist and lovely plating, which comfort us and modernize the memories of cuisines from older times, like a true Neo-Bistro should. The environment, the cuisine and its dishes bring with them a strong charge of emotions, which make a visit to Septime unforgettable, and that make us want to spend hours trying to get a another reservation and plan another visit to Paris.

septimegrahams And to thank the genius of the Chef Bertrand Grébaut, and show what is done best in Portugal, we left a Portuguese classic, Port wine, as a gift, an amazing Graham’s Tawny 20 years, which accompanied us in our visit to Paris.

80, Rue de Charonne, Paris

Graham’s Tawny 20 years with the support of Symington Family.

This entry was posted in Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




    Seeing the World with

    Travelling with

    In the Company of

  • Meta