Semilla is a very useful restaurant: it’s open on Sunday, and it’s large enough that you can usually book a table on the same day. The menu is large enough to make most people happy, including vegetarians. The wine list, including a lengthy selection available by the glass, is well-priced and always full of wines I want to drink. The generous air-conditioning has saved more than one sweaty summer night. The staff, led by jovial owners Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré are kind and professional.
However, to focus only on these practical matters is to ignore the delightful fact that food here is really, really good. One winter evening, I tasted four different dishes based on a biche (deer) brought in by hunters. Last week during the heat wave I swooned for bright green beans with nectarines, and many other dishes tailored made for summer ingredients and sweltering temperatures. Rarely does a restaurant respond so well to both the season and the needs of their customers. For that reason, I find coming back year after year. One of our favorite restaurants in Saint-Germain.
OUR PHOTOS OF SEMILLA
IN OTHER WORDS
Lost in Cheeseland (2015) “You’d think that having Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious craftsman title) Eric Trochon at the helm of a restaurant would imply steep prices but at Semilla, you’re in for one of the best meals and best deals. The international influence is strong here, where Ferrandi-trained chefs serve up modern interpretations of classic French dishes in a stunning open kitchen.”
Alice Waters for Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “Over the last five years, I’ve been impressed by many wonderful little places in Paris where the chefs (and they aren’t necessarily French) are carefully sourcing ingredients and bringing back the kind of food and the way of life that first inspired me to open Chez Panisse. I ate three memorable lunches in a row here—lovely salads and little soups and one of the most perfect seafood risottos I’ve ever had.”
Patricia Wells for Condé Nast Traveler (2015) “Owners Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré and chef Eric Trochon have had a hit on their hands since the day Semilla opened in 2012. It’s usually booked solid—I like to go early to watch the room fill up.”
Le Fooding (2015) says that “despite the anonymous look of this place, Semilla and its Meilleur Ouvrier de France (2007) chef Eric Trochon have a dedicated fan club – an international Rive Gauche and gourmet crowd, who love relaxed and sexy gastronomy. Served in the sonorous dining room on the evening of our visit: delicious ricotta-lemon-oregano ravioli, a chilled melon soup with mozza di buffala, and crispy pig’s head for the tapas-style appetizers… To drink, there’s an excellent choice of natural wines.”
Table à Découvert (2013) “Plus sérieusement, en terminant ma dernière bouchée, j’étais déjà en train de me demander quand est-ce que j’allais revenir et si je n’en ferais pas ma cantine (ça, c’est signe chez moi de grand contentement).”
Simon Says (2012) “On se surprend à découvrir des assiettes bien calées à l’instar du Tartare de Pierre (Gagnaire) associant boeuf, tête de veau et hareng; le dos de lieu jaune avec sa crème de céleri et le jus de rôti pivote bien et laisse l’appétit grand ouvert.”
John Talbott (2012) says “the menu changes DAILY – oh boy – and is quite interesting…The entree was a trio – a veloute of mushrooms (very very good), a chestnut “muffin” that had too much salt for me and a rillette-like/tuna-fish-salad-looking queue de veal that was also superb…”
Alexander Lobrano (2012) reports that “this food was so fresh, sincere, tender and young… this is a terrific restaurant, and a stand-out in a city where there’s a brilliant and ever burgeoning offer of cosmopolitan bistro cooking with good old-fashioned French bones.”
Figaroscope (2012) “Les nourritures y sont plaisantes, ingénues, ne prennent pas le chou et swinguent dans l’air du temps: à la fois bio, paisibles, marchant droit et sans complexe…Belle carte des vins inspirée par des dingos du genre, autant dire que les flacons swinguent. Yeux roses garantis…”