Two years after opening, Passard trained Chef Bertrand Grebaut’s modern neo-bistro is still one of the hottest tables in the city where scoring a reservation actually lives up to the hype.
In this minimalism cool era where the rule is waiting months for a reservation that comes with a high price tag for a few pedigreed ingredients placed on tiny plates with tweezers, Septime is proof that you can eat well without breaking the bank.
Bertrand is a young talented rock star over on the rue Charonne, who traded in Michelin fussy for country comfort – but thankfully he doesn’t indulge in shock value… “Today we have rare pigeon served in its brain, liver and blood sauce!” or obnoxious micro-sourcing: “A farmer found this rare Sorrel variety on the south facing slope of his neighbor’s vineyard and we got the first leaf!”
What he does reward you with for your time and effort getting the reservation, is friendly service and an affordable prix fixe menu in a casual farmhouse setting.
True, he’s putting a modern spin on the season’s best products cooked to perfection and presenting them artfully on the plate – but in addition, those plates are actually full-sized and the portions are generous; rare for Paris these days.
We ordered the full 55€ carte blanche menu recently at lunch worth every centime: juicy veal au lait with salty trout eggs, a bowl filled with a rich combination of mushroom, oyster, foie gras bouillon topped with sorrel for some acidity, tender pan-seared squid drizzled in bright green peppery oil, slow-cooked pork with golden Pontoise cabbage and anchovy cream, and finished with fromage blanc ice cream on savory pumpkin puree.
Wines are non-sulfite made by small producers, now available for sale across the street at their new Septime Cave - a popular neighborhood canteen for drinks & nibbles.
It is obvious that Bertrand and his team are interested in feeding you well from that open kitchen of theirs. You not only leave satiated, but with money that well spent there is actually something left over for a taxi ride home.
Lunch: entree + plat + dessert 28€, Dinner: 2 entrees + 2 plats + dessert, 55€. You can also order the full 5-course carte blanche menu during lunch (55€.)