Gare au Gorille

Gare au Gorille restaurant from Louis Langevin and Marc Cordonnier from Septime in Paris

Just steps from the train tracks leading to and from the Saint-Lazare train station, this is the new project from two Septime alums, Marc Cordonnier (Grébaut’s former sous-chef) and his front-of-house partner Louis Langevin. With a hip hop soundtrack and aspirations no grander than to be a good bistro, the quality of food they are putting out will nonetheless attract the sort of globetrotting gastronome crowd that they are fleeing from at Septime.

Lunch on a cold December day was a study in simplicity and balance: a soup of earthy Jerusalem artichoke with poached egg, smoked haddock, and a dab of bright sorrel pureé. Melting lamb shoulder napped by a profoundly deep jus and pierced by the bitter contrast of endives and turnips. Rich chocolate mousse textured by a high note of verveine and a thump of crunchy peanut. With three courses at lunch for 27€, they were turning people away at the door. Dinner is a program of small plates anchored by one or two big hunks for carnivores to share (an aged faux filet for 39€, or half a Challans duck). Small plate highlights included smoked eel croquettes with a vinegary red pepper purée (7€), sea scallops in a vibrant green puddle of cress (12€), and one of the best duck terrines I’ve ever tasted (8€).

Fans of Septime and Clamato will be familiar with the natural leaning wine list (Vallette, de Moor,  Bobinet & Bain), the polished rusticity of the interior design, and a fair number of the service staff. This is not a complaint. Given that Septime has become all but impossible to reserve, the reproduction of its best qualities in another restaurant is something to be excited about.

— Meg Zimbeck, December 2014

Practical information

Address: 68 rue des Dames, 75017
Nearest transport: Rome (2)
Hours: Open Monday-Friday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Book a few weeks in advance
Telephone: 01 42 94 24 02 (not answered during service)
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€, if you order a lot of small plates
Style of cuisine: Modern French, small plates
Book Online

Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2014) “Exciting food served from start to finish.”

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “Cordonnier and Langevin have summoned a blast from the present, replete with all the tasteful grace notes of up-to-date Parisian restaurateurism: versatile menu construction, a kindly-priced wine list speckled with foreign selections, and terrific hospitality.”

The Wall Street Journal (2014) “In a polished space near Gare Saint-Lazare, chef Marc Cordonnier creates daring but balanced small plates, including paper-thin slices of smoked monkfish slicked with sauce gribiche, and duck hearts with corn and shaved Gouda. Sommelier Louis Langevin has assembled a roster of natural wines from around the world. Lunch may be the city’s best deal right now…”

Le Figaro (2014) “… bistrot de charme… une cuisine inattendue et raffinée.”

Alexander Lobrano (2014) “… some of the best service I’ve had in Paris in a long time… one of the the best duck terrines I’ve had during all my years in Paris with a lush garnish of quince and garlic puree decorated with carrot coins. Rich, emollient and distantly redolent of the barnyard like any great terrine, this one was a homely Gallic triumph so good that we briefly considered ordering another portion.”

Les Grands Ducs (2014) “Et c’est de là que sortent des assiettes d’une délicatesse et d’une finesse intenses. Au déjeuner, au détour d’un menu à 25€ (on se pince), on a pu goûter… un beau morceau de cabillaud avec sa purée de cresson, ses larges feuilles de chou nappées, quelques pointes de romanesco et, en embuscade un peu de lard de colonnata… C’est beau, diaphane et délicat, les légumes sont parfaitement croquants et le poisson tendre comme les lèvres de votre bien-aimé(e) de retour de voyage.”

L’Express (2014) “Le soir, devant les belles tapas cousues main, les grosses pièces de viande rôties entières (côtes de cochon fermier, pigeon sur coffre, fauxfilet de boeuf…), les pommes darphin ou dauphine comme on ne sait plus en faire à Paris, les fines gueules d’aujourd’hui remercient Louis Langevin et Marc Cordonnier de sortir de l’ornière un quartier sans appétit.”

John Talbott (2014) “You’re gonna have to reserve a long-time in advance.  I also predict this will be a NYT fave very soon.”

Le Fooding (2014) “Touffeur de croquettes de pied de porc et harissa maison se tenant sagement en deçà de l’emporte-gueule, relancée par quelques gorgées d’un blanc grec Hatzidakis Cuvée 15 timidement perlant; velouteux d’un marmoréen carpaccio de lotte fumée, amusé de pointes de «gribiche», céleri branche et trévise; suavité d’un mix animal-végétal de bœuf cru, langues d’oursin et pickles d’oignon sucrés sous une dentelle de chou fleur émincé.”

2 Comments on Gare au Gorille

  1. Hi Marie – I would try to reserve at least a few days in advance. No idea what the best time to call might be, but I usually try Paris restaurants around 11am or 7pm (before service).

  2. Hi Meg,
    I was wondering, how far in advance is it necessary to make reservations at this great new restaurant? Any tips on the best time to call?

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