Septime by Meg Zimbeck

Septime

Book well in advance, and then look forward to Bertrand Grébaut’s  beautiful, seasonal cooking, pristine ingredients, and a fine list of natural wines to match.

An absolute favorite

Practical information

Address: 80 rue de Charonne, 75011
Nearest transport: Charonne (9)
Hours: Closed Saturday and Sunday
Reservations: Book a week or two in advance
Telephone: 01 43 67 38 29
Average price for lunch: 20-34€
Average price for dinner: 35-50€
Style of cuisine: Modern French

Reviews of interest

Philippe Toinard (2012) “…c’est sans doute l’un des meilleurs rapports qualité prix au déjeuner.”

Alexander Lobrano – NY Times (2011) “…both visually refined and relaxed, with a polite, house-party-in-the-country style hospitality…Though produce-centric, it eschews the Paris trend of name-dropping producers and lets the ingredients speak for themselves.”

Barbra Austin (2011) “Grébaut takes the prevailing farm to table ethos and backs it with serious skills and creativity. His food is visually gorgeous, and he neither over nor under-manipulates his ingredients. The five course, 55€ carte blanche dinner is a great value for cooking of this caliber…”

David Lebovitz (2011) “…the cooks are actually cooking, not just coming up with tricks and trends (like slate “plates” and jam jars) to obscure the fact that they don’t know what they’re doing, or that their ingredients aren’t good enough to be presented on their own without some sort of fuss and fanfare. Chef Bertrand Grébaut doesn’t seem to want to (or need to) resort to any culinary tricks; he’s just using good ingredients sensibly. And his presentations are beautiful.”

John Talbott (2011) “…great butcher block tables, spiral iron staircase, seemingly unfinished old walls…asparagus stalks with orange slices, microtomed carrots and tiny leaves of mountain spinach (arrach) and a terrine of layered foie gras, canard was it?, some scallion-like vegetable and a beet puree.  Terrific!”

François Simon (2011) “…une des plus belles découvertes de ce printemps. Le chef, Bertrand Grébaut, a été formé à l’école Passard. On retrouve ainsi dans son assiette cet eliptisme rayonnant… asperges, oranges, ricotta ou encore joue de cochon, jardinière, oseille sauvage. Encore ? Cabillaud, épinard, civet d’arêtes….La salle du restaurant Septime est dans ce même esprit : bois brut et épais, tables solides, country chic- barbe de trois jours. Service vraiment gentil…”

Alexander Lobrano (2011) “Grébaut reboots his short menu almost daily, but is obsessively committed to working with the best seasonal produce and also does smart and slightly seditious riffs on the Escoffier canon…A perfect example were the wonderfully crunchy white asparagus with an oyster-spiked sauce gribiche that I had as a first course…the iodine in the bivalves at once brightened and softened the acidity of the sauce gribiche, with trout eggs and artfully chosen herbs adding witty gastronomic punctuation…”

Caroline Mignot (2011) “Un lieu pas vraiment classable, pas bistrot, pas gastro non plus…Merlu/sauce vierge rhubarbe/asperges vertes Filet de poisson tendre, sauce beurrée et acidulée, oeufs de (mince, truite ?), radis émincés, toujours ce côté cru et cuit si plaisant au printemps, de la fraîcheur, du vif, c’est bon.”

Emmanuel Rubin – Figaroscope (2011) “Œuf, bouillon de champignon: limpide. Cochon noir, carottes et radis: sur la chair comme sur le végétal, un petit modèle de cuisson.”

Gilles Pudlowski (2011) “Aujourd’hui, au déjeuner, pour 26 €, avec une entrée, un plat, un dessert, un verre de vin tiré d’une des dames-jeannes de la maison (une jolie syrah friande de Montbrison,), c’était, incontestablement, la belle affaire du moment. De la malice plus que du génie, de la bonne volonté, de l’aisance, de la fraîcheur et de la légèreté, davantage que de l’éclat.”

Bruno Verjus (2011) “Les assiettes vives et excitantes mobilisent les sens, aussitôt portées sur table. Quelques effluves de mer et voilà les asperges ou poireaux sauce gribiche, écume d’huitre et oeufs de truite. Du gourmand, une claque aux papilles!”

Please like & share:

22 thoughts on “Septime”

  1. I agree this restaurant is pretentious, too expensive, and the cook is really not a nice person. Seeing him cooking in front of me litterally spoiled my meal, and the whole table left being hungry, given the tiny size of plates. A lot of fuss for nothing, a fashionable place that will soon be gone.

  2. I have been wanting to try this place since it opened! Finally, a friend took me to an overdue birthday dinner and a treat it was. A 5 course, no choice menu, beautifully put together and nearly flawless. The starter carpaccio was seasoned perfectly and the second starter of celeri was very interesting and light (I like any restaurant that’s not afraid to experiment with veggies, meat isn’t the be all of food). The first main of fish was the only one I was a bit critical of – the morue was overcooked and a bit too fishy for my taste. It became a bit dry and flakey. Not ideal. The second main of veal was just incredible and the dessert was light and palate cleansing. It’s 55€ for the menu and wine is extra. A bit pricey but absolutely worth the price! Go and go quickly!

  3. One of the trip’s culinary highlights. Rustic room, fresh smells, good wine, great service, and blowout flavors from seasonal ingredients. What more can one ask for. Each dish in the 5 course carte blanche was screaming freshness and seasonal, particularly the beetroot salad and chestnut/squash starter. The dessert playing tribute to the squash in season through the use of the toasted seeds was sublime!. Septime is one of the leading “modern bistros” of the city, and a repeat visit is in the cards no doubt in the future. It takes reservations online, a plus

  4. I booked my table at Septime months in advance and was looking forward to my dinner there immensely. Sounds like a recipe for disappointment, doesn’t it? And yet, despite my high expectations, I was still blown away. The staff was delightful, including accommodating my husband’s and food restrictions for the fixed menu. The room was lively and charming. But most importantly, the food was downright exciting. I live in Chicago which has some amazing restaurants, so I think I am a relatively sophisticated consumer. (Maybe I am kidding myself but who knows?) I was very impressed by the seasonality of the chef’s cooking and the deep, complex flavors. We were there in mid-May and the menu seemed like an ode to spring. One dish included tiny baby potatoes that had been smoked — literally the best potato I’ve ever eaten. The dessert of fromage blanc ice cream with strawberries from the south of France and meringues will stay with me always. The very strawberry-ness of it was incredible. I would recommend Septime without reservation, but not without reservations!

  5. i had to choose between Youpi & Septime, thanks to this blog, and we went to Septime and damn, it was good… you can see the pics at my blog.
    I do not understand some people think 55 euro for a 5 course meal is expensive? If u want quantity in stead of quality, there’s always macD ;-)
    The atmosphere is great, maybe speedy at some times but very friendly staff and great food…

  6. Septime is a great experience, professional team, nice atmosphere, and the cuisine is absolutely remarkable. Thx to Bertrand Grebaut and his team. A lot of Bistronomes should take good example from them…
    I’d love to get a recommendation from Julian Malpas…. so easy to criticizes !

  7. I agree with Joseph. Septime is a wonderful restaurant. Can’t fathom the snippy comments in this comment stream.

  8. Get a grip. This is the best restaurant any of us have seen in a long time. But keep complaining and leave it to those who love it.

  9. i am back from Septime and i am still hungry ; 4 guests, chose the Carte Blanche. and still “sur ma faim” at many levels. Small portions, not really super creative, no “wow factor” and super speedy service (barely finished my plate that they were ready to go to the next one) and super duper expensive. 5 mini plates for 55 euros. Nice restaurant decor though. but will not be back.

  10. I adore Septime, its great service, beautiful “Primal Earth” decor, and given account of Bertrand Grébaut’s wonderfully delicate and just cooking, the evening tasting menu is a bargain. I also like the relaxed, casual approach to wines. Actually I like everything about Septime, but particularly at dinner.

    At lunchtime some small flaws do show through: given the size of portions, three courses are likely to leave you hungry. The setting is a tad less attractive in daylight than it is under the lovely night lighting. Which is why I think lunch at Septime is more expensive than dinner. But these are minor flaws.

    I also think that’s a lot of discussion on nothing for just one comment from someone who visibly only wanted to show off with London and NY references (which unfortunately are not even to the point). Septime does not need to be justified. Just one tiny line – see what flow it generates! That would be better off on PBM’s discussion forum!

  11. i have been there in may (someone we met at l’avant comptoir insisted on our reservation there) and enjoyed food, wine & atmosphere very much. in fact, we liked it even better than châteaubriand, saturne and l’arpège. i recommended septime to a friend who has been there last week and had the same experience.

  12. Nothing but pure, natural flavours and soul in the food. P.U.R.E. I love the room, I love the natural light. And I love the wine list with the cool wines that you can try in few restaurants. I felt very comfortable there and think of it as one of my best meals in Paris.

  13. I was more impressed with Rino in terms of flavour, and the price was better than Septime. I didn’t find Septime pretentious in the least, and decor is not an important part of my dining experiences as long as the bathroom is clean. The service and the wine were great.

  14. Hi Julian:

    Thank you for posting your thoughts on Septime. From the outset, I will say that I do not agree with you on all levels. Septime has a warm staff — all of them. Our charming and lanky waiter affably dealt with an obnoxious old friend of mine (who, as a mater of fact, won’t be invited back to Paris next year) that said, “I don’t want the tasting menu because I hardly like anything on your menu.” (Oy vey!!!) I even messed up my order of water…I thought I said “tap” but they heard “plat.” Nonetheless, when I mentioned it to the later-evening woman waiter (where is her accent from???), she was so cool and took the charge off the check. That’s class…especially when it was probably my error.

    The decor is strangely both warm (love that glass wall!) and minimally austere. I would say it works, even thought I could suggest some improvements. But, it’s not my place. And, where in New York are you talking? Septime is way too hodgepodgey to resemble any place in particular. Also, remember those few blocks on and Charone used to be old furniture craftsman’s studios/shops.

    And price? I simply wouldn’t go there. The quality of all the ingredients – from the pristine vegetable to the poultry and meats – are really high-end and cost them boatloads. The mandoline used on those veggies is probably more than a month’s rent for many. None of these small places (i.e, Spring, Rino, or Jadis) are really making serious profits on their food. For most, I would pay 50-100% more…although I wouldn’t get to eat there as often.

    Thanks you again for your courage to voice your displeasure. But, if my truculent friend does make it back to Paris, I may just try to set you two up on a dinner date. I have a few places I am certain you’d both enjoy.

  15. Expensive? As I keep reminding all, lunch is the deal in Paris – 26 E here for three courses is hardly expensive. Nor is it pretentious. You must have hit a bad day.

  16. I don’t agree either. I thought the decor was really nice and homey, and the staff really nice.
    I had a reservation for 9:30 and we did wait quite a long time but they brought us a few things to keep us waiting.
    I tried the ‘tasting’ menu (2 half appetizers / 2 half dishes and 2 half deserts) and yes 55 Euros is a bit on the expensive side, but every dish was well thought through even if some were definetly better than others (the raw tuna with raspberries and tomatoes and the crispy duck were the highlights).
    Overall I’d recommand it

  17. Though I agree with Monsieur Malpas that Septime is (too) expensive, I don’t find it even remotely pretentious–au contraire, the staff is charming, think the food is excellent, and never saw any place in either NYC or London, which I visit regularly, that approximates the hip Scandinavian farmhouse decor of this very successful restaurant.

  18. I have a reservation for 2 people @ 21:00 tomorrow, Wednesday, that I cannot use. (I already went last week and loved it.) Since they are fully booked until they leave for vacation, I figured I would give it away to PBM reader. Please e-mail me if you’d like it I will write the first person back with the name the res. is under. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. 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=""> <strike> <strong>